Quebec cabinet minister resigns after conflict-of-interest allegations: reports

A cabinet minister in Jean Charest’s provincial government has resigned following conflict-of-interest allegations, news reports said Wednesday.

Quebec Labour Minister David Whissell

QUEBEC — A cabinet minister in Jean Charest’s provincial government has resigned following conflict-of-interest allegations, news reports said Wednesday.

Labour Minister David Whissell is set to announce his decision to step down, said the reports from LCN and Radio-Canada television networks.

The youthful minister had come under fire over reports of untendered public contracts to a construction company he co-owns.

The blow arrives with Charest’s Liberals riding high in the polls a year into their third term, managing to elude controversy despite the recession and heavy losses at the province’s pension fund.

This period of smooth sailing came after a rocky, scandal-plagued first term for Charest. Observers credit personnel changes in his office and an aversion to controversial policy for his restored popularity.

But Whissell became the subject of unwanted attention in recent days.

The company ABC River-Nord, which Whissell co-owns, won $800,000 in government contracts — including one worth $564,000 for paving work in his own riding.

Quebec’s public-sector union called for an investigation on how the contracts were awarded without a public call for tenders.

Whissell reportedly plans to leave his cabinet post but will continue to represent the riding of Argenteuil in the provincial legislature.

He is expected to make the announcement alongside Charest.

Whissell said last week that he had always been transparent and had respected Quebec laws.

Under provincial law, a public call for tenders is necessary for any contract worth more than $100,000, expect in urgent cases or for work needed in remote areas.

Just Posted

Rejected Red Deer County cannabis production facility to go to appeal

County’s subdivision and development appeal board hearing set for May 2

Open house on proposed addictions treatment centre to be held at former Red Deer nightclub

Community is invited to learn more about the $2-million project on May 2

Red Deer looks to be creative to attract business downtown

Co-op to close downtown store after 56 years

Family: A potpourri of Easter egg hunts, music and politics

The election is a thing of the past. Albertans have spoken. They… Continue reading

Sri Lankan-Canadians mourn victims of terrorist attack in their homeland

Sri Lankan-Canadians were gathering Monday to mourn those killed in a massive… Continue reading

Residents along Saint John River told to remain on alert as floodwaters rise

FREDERICTON — People who live along New Brunswick’s Saint John River are… Continue reading

Prince Edward Island voters to cast verdict on new electoral system

CHARLOTTETOWN — Canadians are expected to learn late Tuesday whether the cradle… Continue reading

Early, photogenic iceberg raises expectations for Newfoundland’s season

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — This historic port city welcomed an unexpected early… Continue reading

Captain Ghislaine Landry leads Canada to victory at Kitakyushu Sevens

KITAKYUSHU, Japan — Captain Ghislaine Landry scored with no time remaining and… Continue reading

Marchand scores twice as Bruins force a seventh game with 4-2 win over Leafs

TORONTO — After a flying start in front of a raucous home… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan’s royal baby: Questions asked and answered

LONDON — The time is drawing near for the impending birth of… Continue reading

Most Read