Not any more

Construction-firm president hosted Tory minister at fundraiser

In Canada on October 6, 2010 at 14:58

The president of a construction firm that got a $9-million renovation contract on Parliament Hill went on to organize a fundraiser for the Conservative Party.

According to information obtained by The Globe and Mail and Radio-Canada, Paul Sauvé, the president of construction firm LM Sauvé, organized a fundraiser for the Conservative association in the riding of Bourassa in January 2009.

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The fundraiser took place a few months after the firm received the contract to renovate a historic building on Parliament Hill from Public Works Canada.

In an interview, Mr. Sauvé said he worked on the event after Conservative supporters in Montreal told him “it was the thing to do” after getting the contract.

“I felt the Conservatives needed help, and it was a kind of a thank you,” Mr. Sauvé said.

The RCMP launched an investigation into the contract to LM Sauvé earlier this year, looking in particular at the nature of the relations between LM Sauvé and a long-time Conservative supporter and business relations adviser, Gilles Varin.

Mr. Sauvé said the fundraiser was attended by engineers and architects working with him on the Parliament Hill project. The guest of honour at the event was Christian Paradis, the former minister of public works who is now at Natural Resources.

Mr. Paradis was the Conservative Party’s Quebec lieutenant at the time of the fundraiser. A senior Conservative official said the minister’s attendance at the event was entirely normal and did not lead to any favourable treatment for LM Sauvé.

The official said Mr. Paradis was not at Public Works when the contract was awarded to LM Sauvé in May, 2008, but that Mr. Paradis was minister of Public Works when the department removed LM Sauvé from the project.

Mr. Sauvé is listed as having donated $1,100 at the fundraiser, while Mr. Varin gave $500.

Another attendee at the event was Joseph Broccolini, who gave $500. Earlier this year, Public Works Canada awarded contracts to Broccolini Construction to build two buildings for the federal government in Gatineau, Que.

Public Works said that LM Sauvé defaulted on the contract in the spring of 2009 after missing a number of deadlines. A new construction firm has been hired to finish the renovation project on the 19th-century West Block building.

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