A complaint against La Nation Council that it allegedly breached the municipal Code of Ethics has been barred from proceeding by the municipality’s Integrity Commissioner, because the complaint was filed too late after the alleged breach and the evidence could not prove and wrongdoing. 

On April 6, 2022, Integrity Commissioner Jean-Jacques Lacombe received a complaint against the entire council for actions allegedly taken during the previous term of office between 2014 and 2018. Councillors Alain Mainville and Danik Forgues were named in the complaint, even though they were not members of council during that term. 

According to Lacombe’s report, the complaint alleged that in April and May of 2016, council did not give potential applicants sufficient time to respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP) regarding a “development project”. The time given for applicants to respond was 10 days ending May 3, 2016. The complainant alleged that the amount of time was made deliberately short so only one application would be received. The complainant also alleged that the municipal procurement policy was violated through how the RFP was managed.  

The specific development project is not indicated in the Integrity Commissioner’s report. However, based on the dates mentioned in the report and a story in The Review from April 24, 2018, the project was the initial plan for the Limoges Sports Dome. In April 2018, council terminated a partnership it had reached with St-Joseph Property Management in 2017 to develop the sports complex and community centre out of concern for rising project costs. Council subsequently relaunched the project, now known as The Nation Sports Complex, which is projected to be completed by the end of 2022. 

The complainant additionally stated to Lacombe that on June 27, 2016, council adopted a resolution authorizing the municipality to enter a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the construction of the project, but the complainant alleged the MOU was never reached, and therefore the Procedural By-Law was violated by approving the execution of an MOU which was never formally established. 

It was also alleged by the complainant that council also violated the Procedural By-Law when on June 26, 2017, it approved a resolution to enter a construction contract for the project, but the contract was allegedly never signed. 

Lacombe gave two principal reasons for not allowing the complaint to proceed. The first reason is because the complaint was filed too late. Under La Nation’s complaint by-law, all complaints must be filed no more than 180 days after the alleged incident occurred. 

The second reason Lacombe did not allow the complaint to proceed is because he could not find that the evidence presented established that any member of council breached the Code of Ethics or any other by-laws dictating how members of council should conduct themselves. 

At the July 25, 2022, La Nation council meeting, Lacombe’s report was formally received by council. Mayor François St-Amour said it had previously been presented to council by Lacombe in a closed session.  

“The report is very easy,” was the mayor’s only further remark. No comments were made by other councillors. Receipt of the Integrity Commissioner’s report was moved by Councillor Francis Brière and seconded by Councillor Alain Mainville.