Quebec’s UPAC anti-corruption police unit announced on Monday that an investigation it launched five years ago into alleged corruption in the Quebec Liberal Party’s fundraising has concluded without charges being recommended.
In a statement issued Monday by UPAC, the agency said it wanted to limit its comments on the outcome of the investigation.
“Considering the legal opinion obtained, as well as all the rigour and the resources already invested in this investigation, the commissioner finds there is no reason to prosecute the latter and therefore puts an end to it,” UPAC said.
“In order not to harm ongoing legal proceedings, and given the obligations of confidentiality applicable to the content of police investigation files, the commissioner must refrain from any other comment,” the agency added.
The announcement came as former Quebec Liberal premier Jean Charest, who was among the senior Liberal Party brass investigated by UPAC, is contemplating running to become the federal Conservative party’s new leader.
In the meantime, the former premier is suing Quebec’s CAQ government, alleging that police leaked information related to the investigation to the media.
UPAC’s Mâchurer investigation focused on the methods of financing the PLQ was alleged to have used between 2001 and 2012, looking into possible links between fundraising activities and the granting of public contracts.
Lawyers for Charest recently asked a judge to speed up the delivery of documents Charest requested for use in his lawsuit, which he launched in October 2020.
No charges by DPCP in death of Chomedey woman last year
A year after a woman was found dead under mysterious circumstances on des Châteaux St. in Chomedey, the office of Quebec’s Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) says it is not recommending charges of negligence against Laval Police Department officers.
Last year, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), which investigates deaths occurring when police are involved, said it was launching an investigation into the woman’s death. The 32-year-old was found on Feb. 21 outside a condo complex near des Châteaux and Daniel Johnson Blvd.
In a statement issued last week, the DPCP said that after examining a report produced by the BEI, it concluded that officers from the Laval Police Department had not committed any criminal infraction.
According to the DPCP’s account of last year’s incident, the woman called 9-1-1 to complain that she had received threats from a man, although she subsequently refused to identify him.
A short time after this, two police officers from the LPD turned up at her home to investigate. However, for reasons having to do with the Covid pandemic and protocols for reduced contact between persons at that time, they contacted the complainant by telephone rather than in person.
After visually inspecting the area from their police car and concluding there didn’t appear to be a suspect around, they called the woman. They noted afterwards that at no time during their conversation did the woman say anything about “death threats,” only that the suspect had used threatening language, and that what she told the 9-1-1 operator didn’t line up with what she told the officers later.
Among other things, the officers said they contacted the man that the woman said she was afraid of, and warned him about the limits of speech before it becomes a criminal threat. They said he reassured them that he wished no harm to the woman, was polite, and the call ended.
Around 7 am on Feb. 21, the woman was found dead in the outdoor parking lot of the building on des Châteaux St. where she lived, and a firearm was found near her body. Despite the DPCP’s exoneration of the police officers, an investigation into her death is still underway by the Sûreté du Québec.
Some recent fire calls
· Feb 28 · 2:42 PM
Fire in Progress
Building fire on Saint-Martin Blvd. Ouest in Chomedey sector. One-storey residential building. Smoke visible on the roof. Code is 10-07, meaning intervention necessary.
Streets to avoid:
Robinson and Gratton
· Feb 22 · 1:03 PM
Fire in progress
Building fire on 73rd Ave. in the Chomedey sector. Two-storey, multi-unit residential building. Smoke visible. Code was 10-07, meaning intervention necessary.
Streets to avoid: