June 14, 2018 by The Canadian Press
MONTREAL—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 June 13 said $75 million has already been repaid and that agreements have been reached with 31 individuals and businesses.
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.
It did not extend to federal government contracts.
Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee 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.
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.