A Parti Québécois MNA says he's stunned to learn a vehicle from his construction company was spotted by police conducting surveillance at a notorious Mafia hangout in Montreal.
RCMP officers who monitored the former Consenza Social Club as part of a years-long effort to crack down on organized crime compiled a list of all the automobiles they saw parked near the café.
That list includes cars and trucks from companies like ATG Paving, Infrabec and Mivela Construction, all of which had executives caught on RCMP surveillance cameras handing over wads of cash to Mobsters inside the club.
But it also includes a vehicle from Plancher Mirages André Villeneuve, a company belonging to MNA André Villeneuve that specializes in pouring concrete for foundations.
The list emerged Thursday in testimony from Montreal police Det. Eric Vecchio at the Charbonneau commission, Quebec's public inquiry into collusion and corruption in the awarding of public construction contracts.
Villeneuve represents the riding of Berthier, north of Montreal, in Quebec's national assembly and is the parliamentary secretary to Transport and Municipal Affairs Minister Sylvain Gaudreault — the very portfolio that's has the most at stake in the commission.
The former construction entrepreneur said he was very surprised that a vehicle from his now-dormant company's fleet was parked by the Consenza — many kilometers from corporate HQ in Lanoraie, Que.
"I'll need to know the year, the date — and honestly, I'm stupefied by this," said Villeneuve, who affirmed he's never had any ties to the Mafia types who used to hang out at the Consenza.
"I really want to see the proof of this, because my vehicles that I had…. I really want to see it, because I categorically deny — I don't even know where it is."
In the vicinity of the Consenza Social Club are several construction union offices that share a parking lot with the café.
The PQ's minister for the greater Montreal area, Jean-François Lisée, said he's sure Villeneuve will be able to explain things once he's had a chance to look into the matter.
"We're going to see during this commission of inquiry that a certain number of side doors will open up. Some will lead to criminal activity, some will lead nowhere," Lisée said. "We need to stay prudent."
The RCMP had the Consenza under surveillance from 2002-2006 as part of Operation Colisée, a special effort to disrupt the Montreal-based Rizzuto crime family's drug and bookmaking operations.