OTTAWA – Two Conservative cabinet ministers from Quebec say their government never pushed to appoint a man now accused of corruption as president of the Port of Montreal.
But Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former right-hand man said publicly that Robert Abdallah, a former top Montreal bureaucrat, was the government’s “preference” for the job.
Former cabinet minister Michael Fortier has said he was forced to remind the Port’s board that it was independent after Harper aide Dimitri Soudas pushed Abdallah’s name.
An ex-construction boss testifying at Quebec’s corruption inquiry on Tuesday accused Abdallah of being part of a kickback scheme.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and Abdallah vehemently denies them.
Maxime Bernier, the federal small business and tourism minister, says he’s glad Abdallah was never appointed to any federal position.