Quebec's anti-corruption unit executed search warrants at offices of the McGill University Health Centre on Tuesday morning, in the latest twist of the province's ongoing crackdown against questionable dealings involving the construction industry.
About a dozen officers with Operation Hammer carried out warrants at the MUHC's Guy Street offices and met with several people linked to the investigation.
A spokesperson for UPAC, the provincial anti-corruption task force, said fewer than five warrants were executed, but they are part of an "important operation."
She said few details about the investigation would be released at this time.
The MUHC confirmed that investigators with the anti-corruption unit arrived at its offices on Guy Street at 8 a.m. Tuesday looking for information related to the awarding of contracts for the Glen site of the MUHC's new superhospital.
The project, a public-private partnership, was awarded in 2010 to the consortium Groupe Immobilier Santé McGill.
The MUHC said it is co-operating fully with investigators and wouldn't comment further.
Other searches were carried out on the Island of Montreal on Tuesday, but UPAC personnel didn't say where. No arrests have been made so far as a result of the searches.
The 217,500-square-metre superhospital, being built near the Vendôme metro station in Montreal's west end, has been in the works since 2001, with construction finally beginning in 2010. The $1.3-billion facility was supposed to open in September 2014 but, according to a July report by credit rating agency DBRS, has been delayed until January 2015.
An international consortium headed by Montreal-based engineering giant SNC-Lavalin and British company Innisfree Ltd. is partnering with the Quebec government on the project. SNC-Lavalin's Montreal headquarters were raided by the RCMP in April, thought to be in relation to $56 million US in mysterious payments that the company made to undisclosed agents on two megaprojects. The company has refused to indicate the whereabouts of the projects.
The CBC reported the completion of the MUHC Glenn Yards campus would be delayed from Sept. 2014 to Jan. 2015. This was based on a Dominion Bond Rating Service report asserting the project was 16 weeks behind schedule. The MUHC says they will make up the delay and the project will meet its target completion date of Sept. 2014.Jan 15, 2014 4:22 PM ET