Quebec concludes deals worth $95 million in corruption reimbursement

Justice France Charbonneau smiles as she sits on the opening day of a Quebec inquiry looking into allegations of corruption in the province's construction industry in Montreal, Tuesday, May 22, 2012.
The program began in November 2015 and was created in the wake of Quebec's corruption inquiry, known as the Charbonneau Commission. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Quebec has reached deals to get $95 million in a voluntary redemption program aimed at recouping cash lost to corruption, collusion or bid-rigging in the awarding of public contracts.

A report released Wednesday said $75 million has already been repaid and that agreements have been reached with 31 individuals and businesses.

READ MORE: Allegations of collusion in anti-corruption unit unfounded, auditor general says

The program began in November 2015 and was created in the wake of Quebec’s corruption inquiry, known as the Charbonneau Commission.

The program ran until December 2017 and was designed to enable municipalities, school boards or Quebec government departments or agencies to be repaid money they were overcharged over 20 years.

READ MORE: Quebec wants to recuperate sums it lost to fraud and corruption

It did not extend to federal government contracts.

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Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallée says participants who concluded repayment deals included SNC-Lavalin, Cima+ and Dessau. They involved mainly municipal contracts as well as some provincial Transport Department contracts.

READ MORE: SNC-Lavalin to reimburse Quebec municipalities, agencies for ill-gotten gains

The program was cost-neutral to taxpayers as the companies paid an additional 10 per cent of their reimbursement to cover program costs.

Nineteen participants were unable to conclude deals with the province.

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