Montreal (September 3, 2019) – The prosecution dropped most charges against former deputy Quebec premier, Nathalie Normandeau, in the Boisbriand water-treatment plant case. On August 30, Quebec’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions proclaimed that the Crown intends to proceed to trial on breach of trust and fraud against the government.
After more than half of the criminal charges against the 51-year-old were dropped, she is still facing three charges out of the original eight. Quebec’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions declared in a statement to the court that five charges of fraud, corruption, and conspiracy are being withdrawn. However, the former Liberal MNA and minister is still charged with breach of trust and fraud against the government.
The charges were raised against her more than a decade ago in 2007 due to her relationship to the engineering firm Roche in context with the placing of an $11-million water-treatment plant contract in Boisbriand. According to CBC News, public documents state that Normandeau — who was municipal affairs minister at the time — overruled the advice of senior bureaucrats to award the contract to Roche. Normandeau, who served as deputy premier under Jean Charest’s government between 2007 and 2011, has denied any wrongdoing.
Crown prosecutor Richard Rougeau argued that the delays in bringing the case to trial became problematic, CTV News reports. In 2016, the Supreme Court set a limit of 18 months for the criminal prosecution in the Jordan decision. However, he denied that the time limit is the main reason for the reduction of her charges. Normandeau’s lawyer, Maxime Roy, replied that he hopes with the decision of the prosecution, a first step was made in ending a lengthy ordeal for his client.