Lawyer Louis Fortier, now recognized as defending the tenants of Faubourg Mena’sen, takes aim with the Registraire des Entreprises du Québec. On Thursday, he sent a formal notice to the non-profit organization that managed the Faubourg Mena’sen, requesting that the act of dissolution be annulled.
• Also read: Faubourg Mena’sen: residents demand the return of the NPO
• Also read: A UPAC inquiry into the sale of a building in Sherbrooke
• Also read: The former managers of Faubourg Mena’sen are trying to explain themselves
Me. Louis Fortier believes that the Registraire des Entreprises should never have authorized the dissolution of the NPO. It is based on the Companies Act, which stipulates that a corporation must announce its intention to apply for dissolution “in a newspaper published in the locality or in a place as near as possible to its registered office”. This notice was published in Le Devoir, Me. Fortier claims it is not a local newspaper.
Remember that the administrators of the Cité des Retraites de l’Estrie had changed the name of the organization to Orientation Éphémère a month earlier. “We all wondered why a name change took place a month before the dissolution, now we have our answer,” notes Councilor Hélène Dauphinais. If the public notice had been published under the name Cité desretiers de l’Estrie, someone would have set fire to it.
Lawyer Louis Fortier also wonders about the checks carried out by the Registraire des Entreprises before approving the dissolution of the NPO. On April 4, 2022, Orientation Éphémère will send the registrar a request for dissolution and the public notice will be issued on the same day. The next day, April 5, a commissioner approved the dissolution.
Passing by Estrie on May 6, Prime Minister François Legault mentioned his intention to launch an investigation to shed light on the sale of Faubourg Mena’sen and to find out “where the $18 million from the sale went”.
We now know that the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit (UPAC) and the Treasury Department are conducting their respective investigations. According to our sources, the Prime Minister would be reassured by the ongoing proceedings and would not intend to appoint anyone else to launch an additional investigation.
Last week, the government presented a bill to prevent such a situation from repeating itself in the future. It stipulates that the sale of property owned by a not-for-profit housing association must obtain permission from the Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing.