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Provincial engineer admits corruption

By: The Canadian Press

 | Apr 16, 2014 - 2:47 PM |
MONTREAL - A former Transport Quebec engineer says he was routinely bribed by construction and engineering firms in exchange for help with lucrative government contracts.

Guy Hamel told the Charbonneau Commission today the gifts and favours were for favourable decisions from his position on a selection committee for government contracts.

He also served as a project manager for provincial works projects.

The now-retired Hamel says he received cruises, golf trips, golf clubs, a ski trip, enevelopes full of cash and even a new retaining wall for his home.

The gifts began around 1990 but Hamel says he was never reprimanded for taking the gifts.

At one point, a superior casually mentioned to him in a hallway that he needed to "calm down."

Hamel, who retired in 2005, says he understood he had to help the firms gain lucrative government contracts, settle issues involving construction costs, or lobby on their behalf with his bosses.

In one example, a firm paid him a total of $15,000 in three instalments around 1999 and early 2000 to help settle a bridge repair contract where the firm's estimates had come in too low.

In another, a construction firm paid for a Caribbean cruise and an engineering firm gave him $1,500 in spending money for the same trip after he helped in a contract to repair a stretch of highway in Montreal.

The corruption inquiry is examining contracts involving the provincial Transport Department and political party financing.

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