TVA Group President and Vice President of the Board of Quebecor, Sylvie Lalande, is stepping down as Chairman of the Board of Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (CRCD). She also sued the Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, for damaging her reputation.
In a statement issued at the end of the day on Wednesday, Sylvie Lalande recalled that Minister Fitzgibbon had, during a press briefing on 26 November, “put forward, both by his direct remarks and by innuendo, that I could have intervened in the analysis of the request for financial support presented by the cooperative of employees of Groupe Capitales Médias (GCM) to CRCD so that this request is refused “. procedures
The minister, Ms. Lalande continues, invited the journalists to “see who sits on CRCD’s board of directors, thus enjoining them to consider a situation of conflict of interest” in which another director and she would have been, being both members of this Board of Directors and Quebecor Inc.
“Mr. Fitzgibbon, as much for his role as minister and for his decades-long experience in the financial field, particularly as a director of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, had to know a request of the nature and magnitude of the one submitted by the GCM employees’ cooperative did not meet the threshold of materiality sufficient to be submitted to the board of directors, “said Sylvie Lalande in his statement.
In an interview with La Presse canadienne, Ms. Lalande stated that she had made her decision to leave the board of directors of Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (CRCD) because of what she considers to be “thinly veiled threats”. Premier François Legault draws benefits from Desjardins.
“It’s very difficult to bite the hand that feeds you,” she added, noting that the financial institution did not force her to choose between staying or going to court.
M me Lalande also argues that it will file legal proceedings – it will fund itself – in order to restore its reputation and to repair the damage it claims to have suffered. The Minister refused to retract after the Director was sent a notice of default.
The minister’s claims are “false and misleading insinuations” about his involvement in the decision-making process on the MCG file, she said.
She insists that she “never appeared to be in a conflict of interest”, the file never crossed the starting line, nor presented to an investment committee or to the board of directors.
Minister Fitzgibbon refused to apologize last week after receiving a notice from Ms. Lalande, saying his remarks were “appropriate”. In a scrum, he argued that he had stated “very clearly” that there was “appearance of a conflict of interest”, but that this did not mean that there had been a conflict of interest.
Last week, François Legault recalled that CRCD received “a portion of Quebeckers’ money” in a tax credit “to take more risk”, leaving the threat to revise these credits if the cooperative did not invest in the program. relaunch of GCM. He also defended his Minister by stating that, in his view, it is “factual” to say that Ms. Lalande found herself in a “conflict of interest appearance” in the GCM file.
Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon reacted to Ms. Lalande’s statement on Twitter in the early evening. “I have just learned that Ms. Lalande has resigned from CRCD’s Board of Directors. I want to make it clear that neither the Prime Minister nor I suggested removing tax credits from tax-advantaged funds. On the contrary, I am currently in discussion with Luc Ménard [Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Capital Regional and Co-operative Enterprises] on ways to develop collaboration between CRCD and the government to support the development of our regions. ” he writes.
The Minister of the Economy adds that he is “sorry that the impact of my legitimate questions on the appearance of conflicts of interest of Mrs. Lalande could have offended him”. “It was not my intention,” he says. With The Canadian Press