Montreal

Nathalie Normandeau granted stay of proceedings on corruption charges

Quebec's former deputy premier and her co-accused have been granted a stay of proceedings on corruption-related charges stemming from a contract awarded for a water-treatment plant in Boisbriand.

Former deputy premier had been accused in connection with contract for water-treatment plant

Former Quebec deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau, seen here in 2016, has been granted a stay of proceedings in her fraud case. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Former deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau and her co-accused have been granted a stay of proceedings on corruption-related charges.

The decision was handed down Friday by Quebec court Judge André Perreault.

The former Liberal politician, a rising star under the government of Jean Charest, was arrested in March 2016 by the province's anti-corruption unit in connection with a contract awarded for a water-treatment plant in Boisbriand, Que

In August 2019, the Crown announced it was dropping more than half of the charges against Normandeau.

Five charges of fraud, corruption and conspiracy were withdrawn, with the Crown intending to proceed to trial on three counts, including breach of trust and fraud against the government.

Normandeau and the others argued the delays in the case were unreasonable, citing the Supreme Court's Jordan ruling.

The 2016 decision set a time limit between the laying of charges and the completion of a trial.

Key figure in Charest government

The 52-year-old was a member of the legislature from 1998 to 2011. She held key cabinet positions including municipal affairs, natural resources and Canadian intergovernmental affairs.

According to public documents, Normandeau overruled the advice of senior bureaucrats to award the $11-million contract to engineering firm Roche in 2007. She was municipal affairs minister at the time.

Roche also did fundraising for Normandeau during her time as an MNA and Liberal party candidate. Her name came up frequently at the Charbonneau Commission, the province's inquiry into the awarding of public contracts.

She has denied any wrongdoing.

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