Dimitri Soudas, a longtime aide and chief spokesperson to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, denied on Thursday he’d received kickbacks in exchange for his alleged lobbying of Montreal’s Port Authority in 2007, in a bid to to have the agency name Robert Abdallah as its chief executive. Several audio recordings—purportedly conversations between Tony Accurso and Bernard Poulin, both prominent players in Quebec’s construction industry—were posted to YouTube on Thursday morning.
The voice, alleged to be that of Poulin, says he intended to ask Conservative Senator Leo Housakos to bring Soudas onboard with their plans to have Abdallah, a former executive director of the city and employee of Accurso’s, named CEO of the port. They discuss “compensation” for Soudas if he can “deliver something” for them on the appointment process. “What do you see him being able to do, Soudas?” the voice identified as Accurso says. “He’s the boss of Quebec, the real boss of Quebec,” explains the voice identified as Poulin.
Soudas flatly denied the allegations, saying he’d “never” spoken to Acccurso or Poulin about the appointment and was never paid for lobbying on Abdallah’s behalf.