CBC retracts report: SQ chief was in Montreal, not on vacation during Highway 13 debacle

CBC-Radio Canada is retracting a story about provincial police officials and their whereabouts during the record-setting snowstorm March 14. The head of the Sûreté du Québec was indeed in Montreal as hundreds of motorists sat stranded on a snowed-in highway.

Martin Prud'homme didn't leave the city while crews were still clearing snow-covered highway

Martin Prud'homme, head of the SQ, was at work in Montreal the night of the traffic jam and returned to work the next day. (Radio-Canada)

The head of Quebec's provincial police force was indeed in Montreal as hundreds of motorists sat stranded on a snowed-in highway last month.

CBC-Radio Canada is retracting a story about Sûreté du Québec officials and their whereabouts during the record-setting snowstorm March 14.

Contrary to what was originally reported, SQ chief Martin Prud'homme didn't leave for a vacation as crews were still clearing the snow-choked highway.

Prud'homme was in Montreal the entire week of the debacle and only left for his vacation March 21. He returned to Montreal yesterday.

Also contrary to the original report, Sylvain Caron, one of Prud'homme's immediate subordinates, was not at a retirement party the night of the storm. 

Caron was, in fact, at work that night.

CBC/Radio-Canada apologizes to Martin Prud'homme, Sylvain Caron and the Sûreté du Québec for the errors.

Prud'homme didn't have 2 jobs, he says

The same story reported that Prud'homme ran a snow-removal and transport company between 2003 and 2015. He was named the SQ's director general in October 2014.  

In an interview with Radio-Canada, Prud'homme said a snow-removal company was registered in his name, however, he opened it for his father.

"I never had a company, I never received anything, I never had two jobs," he said.

Several hundred motorists were left stranded on Highway 13 overnight on March 14. (Simon-Marc Charron/Radio-Canada)
The business was closed in 2015 because his father decided to do other things, he said.

Prud'homme also has a company related to antique cars, but he opened it for his retirement, he said.