Evidence of meeting #38 for Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was old.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Claude Benoit  President and Chief Executive Officer, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.
Gerry Weiner  Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

You are no longer a minister and you are here to answer my questions. Whether he was a friend or not, you were attending a partisan meeting. A month later, you became the chairman of the Old Port of Montréal Corporation. Did you talk about appointments with Léo Housakos at that meeting?

12:25 p.m.

Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pierre-Luc Dusseault

Before you answer, I want to remind Mr. Coderre about the topic that the committee is studying.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

With all due respect, Mr. Chair, when the topic of the study is expenses, we must also consider the person who approves those expenses. If that person is the chairman, we want to know how he was appointed because perhaps there is something behind that as well.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pierre-Luc Dusseault

I hope that you will be coming to those questions. I will let you reply, Mr. Weiner.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

12:25 p.m.

Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.

Gerry Weiner

Mr. Chair, my memory of the event that the honourable member is talking about is not at all clear. It was a dinner in a restaurant in Laval. I really do not remember whether the senator was there. It was in honour of Mr. Evereklian, who has been a friend for a number of years. There were members of various communities, but I do not recall those who were there.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Housakos was one of the organizers of the event, but you do not remember that. Okay.

Did you speak to Mr. Housakos after you were appointed chairman of the Old Port of Montréal Corporation? Have you met him since?

12:30 p.m.

Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.

Gerry Weiner

I do not recall. I meet a lot of people. I do not remember meeting him subsequently. If you want to know whether I have met him in the last three years, the answer is yes. I have seen him from time to time, like a lot of other people.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Did you meet with Dimitri Soudas before your appointment?

12:30 p.m.

Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.

Gerry Weiner

Never, Mr. Chair.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

So it was Mr. Housakos who helped you. Since then, have you, in your capacity as chairman of the Old Port of Montréal Corporation, met with the Minister of Public Works and Government Services?

12:30 p.m.

Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.

Gerry Weiner

Yes, Mr. Chair.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Have you met with people from the Prime Minister's Office?

May 10th, 2012 / 12:30 p.m.

Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

That sounds like a yes.

12:30 p.m.

Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

You have not met with anyone from the Prime Minister's Office?

12:30 p.m.

Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.

Gerry Weiner

Since when?

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Since your appointment. That is what I want to know.

12:30 p.m.

Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.

Gerry Weiner

I have…No.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

That seems hard for you to say.

12:30 p.m.

Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.

Gerry Weiner

No, it is not hard, but I had visits from some people. I will say no.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

My impression is that Ms. Benoit is the victim of a smear campaign, because, despite what Mr. Del Mastro says, you said very clearly that, if you had been in Bernard Roy's place, you would have approved Ms. Benoit's requests as well. You feel that Ms. Benoit is an outstanding person who does her job well. You are completely satisfied with her leadership and her management style. Is that correct?

12:30 p.m.

Chairman of the Board, Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.