July 5, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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The work environment at UPAC is very toxic

The work environment at UPAC is very toxic

Cops spying on each other among colleagues, shouting, distrust, resignations and sick leave; According to many witnesses, the working environment in the permanent anti-corruption unit is very unhealthy.

Also read: Allegations of misconduct at UPAC: Lafrenier afraid to go “to pass map to National Assembly”

Also read: Allegations of misconduct: Six shocking facts about UPAC

Also read: Judges Denise Gallant, who was rejected by the UPAC, narrowly escaped

These employees are confident in the Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI) as part of the Oath Project, which is investigating allegations of misconduct by former leaders of the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit (UPAC).

Our Investigation Bureau has consulted summaries of their statements which are now public. We reproduce several summaries below.

Initially, the documents were presented to Andre Perrolt as a judge in 2020, when former politician Nathalie Normando ordered a halt to the trial.

In January 2018, two reports were released regarding the most difficult working environment at UPAC. The then Minister of Public Security, Martin Coytex, confirmed that improvements had been made but that “work still needed to be done”.

In May 2017, UPAC’s boss, Robert Lafrenier, described the unit’s atmosphere as “very good”, an expression taken by its director of operations, Andre Boulanger, in October of the same year.

No charges have been registered so far in connection with the affidavit.

Many investigators have told the BEI that the investigation into the information leaks was “directed” and that it targeted pre-determined individuals and was not a crime.

“There is control over the directing head. The authorities were very involved and did not trust their staff, ”BEI said in an interview with researcher Denis Pelletier.

Team leader Mary-Helen Paulin explained to BEI that Andre Boulanger had targeted Chantale Yelle among those responsible for the leaks. However, she examined the documents after the fact. “It did not hold water”, we can read.

MMe Pauline noted that as the investigation progressed, the RCMP, which was performing auxiliary duties, distanced themselves and, in the end, the federal police refused to take part in the October 2017 operation. [l’arrestation du député Guy Ouellette]Because not everything is handled properly.

MMe Pauline was also advised by an RCMP official to “take notes” because the case “does not smell good and will end up in the entire Commission of Inquiry”.

Researcher Denis Pelletier, for his part, said the researchers “wanted to move forward with the investigation, but it was dictated by management that they targeted the public, which is not impartial.”

According to Mr Pelletier, Boulanger and Caroline Grenier-Lafontaine are interfering in the investigation as researchers are struggling to find their exact location.

In August 2017, it was reported that Boulanger had previously admitted at a meeting that it had been leaked. Then he talks about “controlled leaks”.

“We are investigating the leaks from the UPAC and we know our inspector himself is leaking,” lamented Denise Pelletier. According to him, Project A should be managed by “someone independent, another police for transparency”.

Andre Boulanger and his wife, Carolyn Grenier-Lafontaine, are subject to the BEI standard trial and have been subject to administrative action since March 2019, never denying that they need to blame themselves.

File photo, Stevens LeBlanc

Andre Boulanger and his wife, Carolyn Grenier-Lafontaine, are subject to the BEI standard trial and have been subject to administrative action since March 2019, never denying that they need to blame themselves.

The fact that Project A, led by Inspector Andre Boulanger and his wife Carolyn Grenier-Lafontaine, contributed to the unrest to find the source of the leaks.

Team leader Mary-Helen Pauline told BEI researchers that the couple had decisions to make over the weekend. And deal with what the team decided on Monday, we can read in his summary.

Researcher Denise Pelletier explained that Grenier-Lafontaine spoke to Boulanger about the file in the evening and “informed us of his conclusions the next morning.”

Grenier-Lafontaine Marie-Helen Pauline goes so far as to “ventilate” what she enjoys at home with her spouse.

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M also apologized for the inconvenienceMe Pauline is in a position to find himself between two of his superiors.

Researchers disagree with Andre Boulanger’s management style.

According to Frank Cote, “he ran things alone” and if people did not think like him, it would not work.

Another researcher, Denise Pelletier, said during the meetings that Boulanger acted like a “little general” and that was not the way to talk to the world..

Team leader Mary-Helen Pauline said Boulanger told her that “the game is dirty and he’s going to play it dirty with goals and expect the guys’ spouses to go through it or not. It’s going to be dirty. “.

She also said that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) described an incident that came to the Boulanger federal police office in “flip-flops” and was very firm.

In August 2017, Boulanger invited researchers Claude Saint-Sir and Denise Pelletier to a cafe in Montreal. Boulanger wanted to talk to Saint-Syre alone and question him about his obedience.

After the meeting, Saint-Sierre told Pelletier that he was “angry at the questioning of his loyalty by the leaking inspector in the Leak Investigation”.

A few days later, Boulanger called the duo in the car and again questioned Claude Saint-Cyrus’ obedience.

He yells so loud, Denise Pelletier struggles to understand the words.

The fact that the UPAC itself is investigating has created an “unpleasant atmosphere in the workplace,” said Frank Cote, a researcher at BEI.

Researchers go on sick leave, while others stay side by side or ask to be assigned to another service.

Researcher Karen Wincelet, on sick leave during a meeting with BEI in May 2019, points out that “Project A has implications for many people.” She said investigators had leaked their bosses and investigated them, saying it was “not so easy to live with” because she knew she would continue to work there. ‘UPAC Next.

Team leader Mary-Helen Pauline told her superior Vincent Rodriguez that she was “loyal but did not lose integrity”. At the end of the project, she asked to lend to another department not to be around her.

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Researcher Denise Pelletier has reportedly accused researcher Christine Saint-Laurent of being “forced.” », Because she was not comfortable prosecuting her coworker. Director of Operations Andre Boulanger would have suspended it. “She was praised by the team. The team never saw her again.”

Another researcher, Manon Thomasssin, stated that people disappeared “overnight” without anyone knowing why. By itself, after learning about the suspension
“Christine”, went on sick leave. “These events changed her forever,” BEI researchers write. “It attacked my justice and my integrity,” she told BEI.

Researcher Matthew Wenne tells BEI researchers: “They are lucky that no one is motivated.”

Numerous media leaks have greatly heightened the atmosphere of internal suspicion.

Investigators suspect, among other things, Martin Barabe, Robert Lafrenier’s strategic adviser, of leaking information about the Justice Project, which aims to raise liberal funding. A UPAC researcher went “to observe at Barabe’s house.” The warrant was designed to make searches in his office.

One day while Barabe was in the shadows, he also did “counter-spinning” stunts, as if he was suspected of being in the shadows.

In July 2018, two UPAC researchers met with their Big Boss Robert Lafrenier at a restaurant in L’Île-des-Sœurs to gather information on the leaks.

“The reasons for the meeting are unknown and should not be known to Robert Lafrenier,” the BEI notes.

The document presented by Lafrenier at this meeting raised suspicions that it was linked to a leak. The event was qualified by Frederick Goudrow, who later became commissioner of the UPAC.

A UPAC employee has denied Oath researchers that “spinning directed a 60-year-old woman who worked for UPAC in the hunt for leaks”.

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