Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Construction Controversy on Parliament Hill

When Marvin Wemet in prison was arrested we were told aside from murder, he was also charged with gangsterism and money laundering concerning Quebec's construction industry which included a controversial renovation on Parliament Hill.

So what's so controversial about a renovation project on Parliament Hill? Well, to start, seemingly it involves trades not getting paid by the builder which is nothing new but surprising on Parliament Hill.

RJW Stonemasons president Bobby Watt says he isn’t being paid by the Montreal-based bonding company running the project. He claims he’s being squeezed out of the masonry job in favour of another firm and he’s asked the RCMP to look into that.

The project was interrupted for the first time last year when the construction firm that originally won the contract, LM Sauvé, filed for bankruptcy protection, leaving L’Unique Assurances Générales in charge of the project. At the time, Public Works Canada accused LM Sauvé of defaulting on the contract by falling behind on the construction schedule.

Among the more than 20 charges filed against Ouimet and Purdy at the Montreal courthouse last year are at least three related to LM Sauvé 2004 Ltd., a family owned firm whose president, Paul Sauvé, has alleged in media interviews that his company was plagued with problems generated by Ouimet.

The key question is, which companies were willing participants in the Hells Angels money laundering scheme and which were forced into it? In fact that's not a key question at all. There are more than enough construction companies that would jump at the opportunity to launder drug money in a recession.

The key point is that the Hells Angels have been accused of taking over the construction industry in Quebec through extortion and used those companies to launder drug money. Those are the root of the accusations. Ties to the Conservative government are interesting yet by all means not exclusive since the Liberals were the sponsorship kings. Chretien came right out and said Sponsorship is Good. Tell that to Alfonso scape goat Gagliano.

Sûreté du Québec Inspector Michel Forget said it was the biggest money-laundering operation ever encountered by the police, and that there was more to come. We will no doubt watch the new developments with great interest.

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