Charest government lost money selling buildings: auditor general
Published Thursday, November 23, 2017 2:34PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 23, 2017 6:45PM EST
In her fall report, Quebec’s auditor general levied heavy criticism at several real estate deals that she said cost taxpayers money.
Guylaine Leclerc identified the sale of three buildings as ones where the properties were sold for less than they were worth by the Societé Immobiliere du Quebec, the government agency responsible for publicly owned property.
The three structures were sold in 2007 and 2008 by the Charest government for $41 million, a price Leclerc said was below market value.
The deal was further criticized for clauses forcing the provincial government to pay for major work to the buildings, part of a deal struck to keep civil service offices on the location.
The Charest government offered $59.6 million in concessions in order to fast-track the sales.
In the end taxpayers lost $18 million.
Leclerc said there was no indication of any corruption in the sales.
“We have no evidence that there was influence on who to sell it to, but we have indications that there were some requests to sell it,” she said.
There are reports that three Liberal party fundraisers benefitted from the sales.
One of the buildings is now owned by SOLIM-Accurso.
Leclerc's report also focussed criticism on the poor attendance and completion record of French courses offered to immigrants.