Yvon Fontaine's wife's firm earned $220K for PR work

The Université de Moncton is facing questions about money it spent on an outside public relations firm.

Réjeanne Blais outsourced to do Université de Moncton during husband's tenure

Réjeanne Blais and Yvon Fontaine. Fontaine said the arrangement was authorized.

The Université de Moncton is facing questions about money it spent on an outside public relations firm.     

When Yvon Fontaine was the president of the university, his wife's company was hired as a public relations consultant.

Information obtained through Access to Information reveals Réjeanne Blais's company was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for her work.

Blais signed a contract with the Université de Moncton in July 2004. The contract ended in 2012 when her husband finished his mandate as the university's president. 

A Radio-Canada investigation found Blais's company, Blais C.P. Incorporated, was hired to do public relations.

The company received nearly $220,000 over eight years. Blais's job was to welcome and develop relationships between the university, dignitaries, philanthropists and heads of states.

Blais organized catered receptions and similar events.

Fontaine defends hiring

Blais filed a complaint to the province's Privacy Commissioner's Office, stating the information was private.

After an investigation the commissioner instructed the university to release the financial figures publicly.

Blais declined an interview request. In a letter sent to Radio-Canada, Fontaine said the arrangement with his wife's company was authorized.

He said that previous presidents of the university were given an allowance for their residence and for activities at their homes.

Fontaine went on to say that since the university wasn't paying for his rent or mortgage, the board of governors decided this was an appropriate alternative.