July 3, 2020

27° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast


Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?


Advertise With Us

Report says law was broken

Quebec prosecutor will probe arena deal

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/12/2011 (3116 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

QUEBEC -- A report into Quebec City's contract for a new hockey arena has been transferred to the provincial prosecutor's office following months of controversy surrounding the deal.

The report by the province's lobbying commissioner, released Wednesday, said some organizations failed to register as lobbyists while they were negotiating a deal to name and operate the future arena.

That municipal contract was eventually awarded to the Quebecor media empire, which is now working to bring an NHL team back to the provincial capital 16 years after it lost the Nordiques.

The report released Wednesday said several organizations broke the law by not registering as lobbyists, or by registering too late.

"The lobbyists' registry is the vehicle for ensuring transparency, as set out in the law. It is its bedrock," the report said.

Some of those organizations -- including Quebecor itself, along with virtual gaming company Aurifossor and insurance company Deux Rives -- cannot be charged because the one-year statute of limitations has passed.


The report said Quebecor broke the law by registering too late. It said Quebecor president Pierre Karl Peladeau broke the provincial Lobbying Transpency and Ethics Act by failing to add vice-president Jean-Francois Pruneau to the registry. The company has received a warning.

Two other companies are accused of breaking the rules more recently and could face penalties: Bell Canada and Evenko, a company tied to the Montreal Canadiens and which was represented in the talks by former Habs president Pierre Boivin.

The Crown must now decide whether to seek penalties from them, including fines of up to $25,000.

The arena project was dogged this spring by accusations that it flouted municipal contracting guidelines.

When some opponents threatened to launch a court case against it, provincial politicians stepped in with a law designed to protect the deal from any legal challenge.

But that legislation proved divisive within the opposition Parti Quebecois, which saw some of its best-known members quit in protest against what they described as a legal abomination.

After the agreement in principle with Quebecor was announced earlier this year, the province's lobbying commissioner opened a formal investigation in June.

Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume said at the time that five other suitors, in addition to Quebecor, had expressed an interest in the contract to operate the $400-million arena.

-- The Canadian Press


Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.


Advertise With Us