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Claude Blanchet, $1600 & Pauline Marois


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#1 August1991

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:48 AM

This one's a doozy.

Pauline Marois lives - with her husband Claude Blanchet - in a $3 million chateau on a small island in the west end of Montreal. You can see it here. No journalist has ever been invited inside to see it. For public consumption, Marois has invited journalists to her more modest dacha near Quebec City.

According to The Gazette, to get the land to build the chateau, Blanchet paid a bribe of $1600 to obtain a zoning change.

The creation of the riverside manor on Île Bizard involved some deft handling before the Commission for the Protection of Agricultural Land on the part of her husband, Claude Blanchet.

This included an affidavit to the commission that proved decisive in obtaining permission in 1992 for Marois and Blanchet to build the estate on land zoned agricultural.

The man who swore out the affidavit said he never read it and added that Blanchet gave him a "gift" of $1,600 after he signed the document.


In addition, the "manor" is built partially on government-owned land, expropriated to build an extension to a bypass around Montreal. The bypass was never built.

According to a PQ press communique, Blanchet does not deny that he uses the government land. He denies paying a bribe and intends to sue The Gazette for diffamation.

This one is going to be a real fun scandal. Really dirty. (Charest owns a nice house in Westmount.)

Après les différentes controverses qu'a suscitées au cours des années le journal The Gazette, le voilà qui essaie encore une fois d'éclabousser une chef du Parti Québécois, Pauline Marois, en publiant de fausses allégations de corruption relativement à l'obtention d'une dérogation pour la construction de sa maison à l'île Bizard. A travers son mari Claude Blanchet. Tout cela à 2 jours de l'élection partielle dans Charlevoix. Quelle coincidence!!!

Link

Quel salissage!!!

Edited by August1991, 23 September 2007 - 10:39 AM.

"In civilised society he stands at all times in need of the cooperation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons." Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 2

#2 jdobbin

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:58 AM

This one's a doozy.

Pauline Marois lives - with her husband Claude Blanchet - in a $3 million chateau on a small island in the west end of Montreal. You can see it


What does her husband do?

I hadn't heard of any of this prior to the Gazette report. Will it matter to Quebecers?

#3 August1991

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 10:36 AM

What does her husband do?

I hadn't heard of any of this prior to the Gazette report. Will it matter to Quebecers?

Blanchet worked with Robert Campeau and then, when his wife`s political career started moving, he got a variety of jobs with Quebec government investment funds. He generally lost money but was always well compensated. Charest fired him when the Liberals took power in 2003.

You can read about Blanchet here:

Claude Blanchet and Henry Walsh were business associates of Mario Grilli in Île Bizard real-estate development.

They made millions of dollars in the 1980s buying agricultural land on Île Bizard and then persuading the Commission for the Protection of Agricultural Land to rezone it for development.

At the time, one of the two commissioners who approved the rezoning was Léandre Dion, a militant Péquiste and later a political colleague of current Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois in the National Assembly.


Will this scandal matter to Quebecers? Absolutely.

What's new is the allegation that Blanchet obtained a zoning change by paying someone to lie in an affidavit, claiming that a shack was used as a residence. In addition, Marois and Blanchet are using expropriated land as if it were their own private land.

Will Marois lose the byelection? I doubt it. This scandal has broken too late. OTOH, this is going to dog her endlessly. If she's smart, she'll just brazen her way through like Chretien would.

Edited by August1991, 23 September 2007 - 10:37 AM.

"In civilised society he stands at all times in need of the cooperation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons." Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 2

#4 M.Dancer

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 01:45 PM

A little more about Le Chateau Marois.....

The most damning revelation in the Gazette article was that the couple was able to get its land rezoned from agricultural to residential and build their “private Shangri-La” in 1992 based, in large part, on an affidavit from local resident Marcel Turcotte.

Mr. Turcotte told the newspaper that some claims in the affidavit are not correct, but that he didn't read the document.

He said that Mr. Blanchet gave him a “gift” of $1,600 after he signed.

Under provincial law, if a house on land designated agricultural was occupied in 1978 (when the law was enacted), the owner has a right to build on it.

Mr. Turcotte said in the affidavit that he was living in a cottage on the land in 1978, opening the way to the rezoning.

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#5 betsy

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 04:44 PM

Oh Mike Duffy brought this up today and showed an aerial view of the mansion....saying that PQ is not the "little people's" party it wants to project. My gosh, it looks like an aristocrat's or a royalty's chateau!
Apparently Marois is threatening to sue the Gazette. This should be interesting.

Edited by betsy, 24 September 2007 - 04:44 PM.


#6 August1991

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 05:03 PM

Oh Mike Duffy brought this up today and showed an aerial view of the mansion....


You can see it here on Google Maps.

It is 41 acres (the entire surrounding forested area) which includes, I believe, 6 acres of government land on the north side where the main entrance to the domain is.

Edited by August1991, 24 September 2007 - 05:05 PM.

"In civilised society he stands at all times in need of the cooperation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons." Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 2

#7 jdobbin

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 05:08 PM

It is 41 acres (the entire surrounding forested area) which includes, I believe, 6 acres of government land on the north side where the main entrance to the domain is.


It looks like Marois's husband is going to after the Gazette and in turn, the Aspers, if the newspaper company doesn't retract what they wrote.

Edited by jdobbin, 27 September 2007 - 07:13 PM.


#8 August1991

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 05:53 PM

Marois is leading in the by-election.

You can watch the results update automatically here.
"In civilised society he stands at all times in need of the cooperation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons." Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 2

#9 August1991

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 02:41 PM

The Gazette allègue également qu'un homme, Marcel Turcotte, aurait reçu un montant de 1600 $ de Claude Blanchet pour obtenir le dézonage du terrain en question. M. Turcotte a par la suite précisé que le montant était de 500 $, ce qu'a aussi soutenu Mme Marois. La chef du PQ prétend qu'il ne s'agissait que d'un cadeau pour le remercier de ses efforts.

"M. Turcotte a eu beaucoup de travail à faire. Il s'est donné beaucoup de trouble pour produire les affidavits et autres documents nécessaires. C'est pourquoi, quatre mois après avoir obtenu le dézonage, nous avons décidé de lui donner un cadeau pour le remercier." — Pauline Marois

Pauline Marois s'est d'ailleurs quelque peu emportée quand un journaliste lui a demandé s'il ne s'agissait pas plutôt de trafic d'influence. « Non, non, non! là, ça suffit!, a-t-elle dit en frappant son bureau avec sa main. Ce n'est pas du trafic d'influence! »

Mme Marois affirme que cette histoire cause un tort majeur et irréparable à sa réputation, ainsi qu'à celle de son mari. Elle estime toutefois qu'elle est la seule cible de ces allégations. « Nous savons tous que ce n'était pas lui qui était visé, mais moi, chef du Parti québécois. C'est ma photo qui était en première page du journal, pas la sienne. »

R-C

Unbelievable. Politics is politics but I don't know how she can continue now.

----

BTW, here's Infoman's video of Marois showing her little dacha and then Infoman flying over her "real" house. (Broadcast several weeks ago.)

Edited by August1991, 27 September 2007 - 02:41 PM.

"In civilised society he stands at all times in need of the cooperation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons." Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 2



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