On Campus

Quebec anti-corruption squad makes arrest

Fraud charges over McGill University Hospital Centre

Quebec’s anti-corruption squad has arrested one of the five men being sought in the case of a billion-dollar project to build a Montreal mega-hospital.

That leaves Arthur Porter, the former head of Canada’s spy overseer, as the only one who has so far eluded arrest.

Jeremy Morris was arrested at Montreal’s Trudeau airport Monday night as he arrived on a flight from the Bahamas, the anti-corruption squad said in a statement.

Morris, the administrator of a Bahamas-based investment company, is scheduled to appear Tuesday in a Montreal court.

Morris and Porter are among five people wanted on numerous charges — including fraud, breach of trust and document forgery — linked to the $1.3-billion McGill University Hospital Centre project.

The others are former SNC Lavalin senior executives Pierre Duhaime and Riadh Ben Aissa, and former McGill University Hospital Centre administrator Yanai Elbaz — all of whom have already been arrested.

Duhaime and Elbaz are now free on bail. Ben Aissa has been detained in Switzerland since April 2012 and is awaiting trial there on charges related to alleged corruption, fraud and money-laundering in North African countries, including Libya.

The Canadian government is still trying to extradite Porter from the Bahamas, where he runs a medical clinic and is apparently cancer-stricken.

Porter was both director general of the McGill University Hospital Centre and the chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee when the alleged fraud occurred.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Porter — a medical doctor and cancer specialist — to SIRC in September 2008. He quickly rose to the position of chairman before resigning in November 2011 after reports surfaced about his past business dealings.

Porter has also come under fire for his political donations. Public records show he gave the federal Conservatives $2,200 while at SIRC against Privy Council Office guidelines.

He is the only former SIRC chair to give money to a political party in recent years. Other former SIRC members say they were pointedly told not to donate.

The federal Conservatives insist the fraud allegations have nothing to do with Porter’s role at SIRC.

Porter was recently replaced as head of a major medical project in the Antigua and Barbuda over concerns about his health and the fraud allegations he faces in Canada.

Porter, who denies any wrongdoing, has not returned messages left at his clinic in the Bahamas.

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