Skip to main content

Denis Coderre's dealings with real-estate company, publisher in spotlight ahead of Montreal election

Share
MONTREAL -

The spotlight has turned to Denis Coderre's business dealings -- and if there's a conflict of interest -- as election day nears in Montreal.

Coderre released new information Wednesday about work he did in the private sector between 2017 and 2021, following his tenure as mayor.

One of his recent clients was revealed as COGIR, a real estate company that was in the news in August when city councillor Marvin Rotrand told reporters he believed the company was skirting the law by evicting waves of people in the neighbourhood of Côte-des-Neiges, something the company said was a mistake.

“All these questions, people are asking. What does it mean when you are working for a promoter, yourself? What does it mean?” asked incumbent mayor Valérie Plante.

Coderre responded he would recuse himself from city business with COGIR if elected.

“Anything regarding housing and them, I'll pull out,” he said.

Commercial printing and specialty media company TC Transcontinental has also confirmed it is the mystery company that worked with Coderre prior to his municipal campaign run.

"At Denis Coderre's request and in the public interest, TC Transcontinental is lifting its confidentiality agreement and confirming that it had retained Denis Coderre to provide strategic advice on the company's circular economy and recycling investments in Montreal's east end," said François Taschereau, vice president of corporate communications and public affairs. "The company will not comment further on this matter."

According to TC Transcontinental, Coderre held contracts with it from July 2019 to March 2020, as well as from November 2020 to March 2021.

Information uncovered by La Presse reveals the former mayor's mandate was related to the publisac, a collection of flyers distributed to every home in the Greater Montreal area.

The City of Montreal has already expressed its interest in limiting the publisac's distribution, stating it is too difficult to recycle.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST?

The Lobbyist Registry shows that since 2019, TC Transcontinental has been trying to stop the City of Montreal from passing a municipal bylaw that would establish an "opt-in" system for the publisac.

Under this system, those wanting to receive the bundle of flyers would have to sign up.

The registry notes the company wants to "ensure that the publisac distribution system is preserved in its current form and reject a possible municipal regulatory proposal to establish an 'opt-in' system."

According to the Lobbyist Registry, the company is hoping to solve this problem by "guid[ing] public policy and funding requests" to buy equipment to sort plastics "at a plant yet to be determined."

"This equipment would improve the current recycling of residual plastic bales from the sorting centres, with the aim of maximizing the outlets and thus monetizing this deposit," the document states.

When asked about potential conflicts of interest, Coderre affirmed he plans to take any issues to the ethics board.

WHY THE SECRECY?

Wednesday, Coderre revealed the list of eight companies he has worked with over the last four years amid mounting pressure over the supposed secrecy.

In addition to COGIR and TC Transcontinental, his contracts include work with real-estate company, Stingray, Felix & Paul Studios, Parc Omega, the Jewish General Hospital Foundation, Eurostar and the International Automobile Federation, which governs the Formula One.

According to his statement of revenue, Coderre's contracts pulled in $458,263 last year and he paid $187,850 in federal and provincial taxes.

View the full list of Denis Coderre's business activities from 2018 to 2021 



- With files from CTV News Montreal's Billy Shields

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

opinion

opinion The big benefits of adopting a debt-free lifestyle

In his column for CTVNews.ca, columnist Christopher Liew explains the benefits of adopting a debt-free lifestyle, as well as the change in financial mindset and sacrifices it takes.

Stay Connected