Hydro-Quebec suspends employee reported to have taken $30,000 in bribes, calls in UPAC to investigate
MONTREAL -- Hydro-Quebec on Monday announced it has suspended an employee who was reported by a Montreal newspaper to have accepted $30,000 in bribes over the years, and says it has called in the province's anti-corruption squad to investigate.
The provincial power utility was responding to an investigative report in Le Journal de Montreal and on TVA that filmed a Hydro-Quebec architect accepting an envelope full of cash from a Quebec entrepreneur, allegedly in return for the architect getting the entrepreneur contracts with the Quebec Crown corporation.
"Hydro-Quebec finds the conduct exposed by TVA and the Journal de Montreal to be unacceptable," Hydro-Quebec said in a statement. "Early this morning, we contacted UPAC. We will work with them to ensure that any individuals involved in misconduct face appropriate consequences."
"The employee in the news report has been suspended without pay, and an investigation is underway."
Hydro-Quebec said that while "it is committed to fighting corruption and applies a strict zero-tolerance policy," it is "not immune to employee or supplier wrongdoing. There is always a chance that ill-intentioned individuals will attempt to break the rules."
Hydro-Quebec said it is inviting its employees and all Quebecers who suspect malfeasance on the part of any utility employee to call 1 866-ETHIQUE, where it says reports and complaints can be made in confidence.