Quebec treasury board president Sam Hamad steps down amid ethics investigation

Written by admin on 26/04/2020 Categories: 老域名购买

QUEBEC CITY – Quebec’s treasury board president quit cabinet on Thursday amid allegations he helped a horticultural company that was trying to get a government grant.

Sam Hamad will continue to sit as a Liberal member of the legislature as he fights to clear his name.

“I hoped the situation would not become a distraction for the government and the premier,” Hamad said in a statement he read to reporters.

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    “I must admit, I became one. That’s why today I’ve agreed with the premier to sit as the representative of Louis-Hebert without any other privilege.”

    Hamad recently asked the province’s ethics commissioner to look into the allegations contained in a Radio-Canada report that said he had ties with Marc-Yvan Côté.

    READ MORE: Sam Hamad coming back from Florida on Thursday amid allegations

    The report suggested he may have passed along strategic information to help Premier Tech, which had Cote on its board and was trying to get a government grant.

    Côté is a former Quebec Liberal cabinet who is facing fraud-related charges in a separate scheme that allegedly saw political financing and gifts exchanged for lucrative government contracts.

    Hamad, 57, has denied any wrongdoing and suggested he should be entitled to the same presumption of innocence afforded to others.

    He created a further stir after leaving abruptly for Florida last Saturday, the day he temporarily resigned his post.

    WATCH: Sam Hamad at the centre of controversy

    Sam Hamad back in Quebec City

    02:17

    Sam Hamad back in Quebec City

    00:46

    Liberal minister, Sam Hamad, to step down temporarily



    Hamad said he was angry after the report aired and that emotion fueled his decision to head south as the storm around him grew.

    READ MORE: Sam Hamad bumped from Transport in cabinet shuffle

    “When one feels unjustly targeted, when one’s reputation and integrity are attacked, you want to take a certain distance,” he said.

    “I was angry, and anger is poor counsel. I can understand that it might have outraged the public, but I assure you that was not my intention.”

    When Hamad gave up his cabinet post temporarily, he kept the privileges that came with it – namely a bodyguard, a limousine and a premium.

    READ MORE: Cabinet minister Sam Hamad to step down temporarily

    On Thursday, the second anniversary of the Liberals winning power, Premier Philippe Couillard defended Hamad and said he showed courage in resigning.

    On Wednesday, Couillard said his minister could have been “more prudent, certainly when it comes to matters of lobbyism.”

    Two senior ministers will split Hamad’s former duties – Finance Minister Carlos Leitao and Labour Minister Francois Blais.

    Côté is a former cabinet member who is facing fraud-related charges in a separate scheme that allegedly saw political financing and gifts exchanged for lucrative government contracts.

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