UPAC raids offices of Quebec’s public security ministry

Quebec's anti-corruption unit (UPAC) carried out two raids in Quebec City Wednesday — one of them inside the building of the public security ministry.

Officers seize computer equipment at the ministry’s depot in Quebec City

UPAC raided five addresses in the Montreal area on Wednesday. (Radio-Canada)

Quebec's anti-corruption unit (UPAC) carried out two raids in Quebec City Wednesday  one of them inside a building used by the provincial public security ministry.

The depot on Volta Street holds surplus computer equipment and furniture.

Following the raids, the office of Public Security Minister Lise Thérialut issued a statement Wednesday, saying it “offers its full and entire cooperation to investigators.”

The other location UPAC raided was an information technology business called EBR Informatique.

The company, located on Jean Perrin Blvd., had a contract with the province to install interactive whiteboards in Quebec schools.

Informatique EBR, which has other offices in Laval, Chicoutimi and Gatineau, has also done business with the province’s treasury board, the justice and education ministries and Revenu Québec.

Politicians speak out

UPAC said investigators were acting on a tip they received in 2013.

At the time, Parti Quebecois MNA Stéphane Bergeron was minister. He said he never witnessed any activity out of the ordinary while he was in office.

“High costs, yes, but strange? No. I can’t go any further than that. There is nothing that seemed to me, at first glance, to be questionable. I get the idea that the police force is aware of things that I am not,” Bergeron said.

Coalition Avenir Québec’s François Bonnardel said the government has a lot of explaining to do given that UPAC reports to the public security ministry.

“It’s extremely worrisome when we see that the police are investigating the police. In these circumstances, I think the ministry and the government should give us information on this impromptu visit,” said Bonnardel.

Wednesday’s raids come one day after the UPAC raided the offices of the Liberal Party’s headquarters.