Fired to cover expenses | “Serious lack of judgment”

The vice-president of Investissement Québec was fired without pay for allegedly concealing alcohol expenses

The former Investissement Québec top three, fired last November, allegedly participated in a “strategy” to ensure the state-owned company “unwittingly paid for alcoholic beverages” for 340 of its employees invited to a party.

That’s what the Quebec financial group claims in its response to a $2.7 million lawsuit filed in February by its former first vice-president of the regional network, Jocelyn Beauchesne.

The former manager invited members of his division to the Hilton Double Tree Hotel in Complexe Desjardins on November 21, 2023, the state-owned company explains in its defense. During the evening, he allegedly approached 340 guests to tell them that he had “arranged” the drinking of “alcohol at the expense of Investissement Québec, which is against the policies in force.”

He would add to ensure “that the invoice does not state that the hotel serves alcoholic beverages” and “that it had to remain between the staff present,” according to the state-owned company’s defense, consulted Press.

340 “accomplices”

“In other words, a member of Investissement Québec’s management committee, who has a duty to be the guardian of the organization’s values ​​and integrity, publicly confirmed to its 340 employees that he was acting to deceive Investissement Québec into knowingly violating the company’s principles and code of ethics, while asking them, to take part in this meeting,” states the state’s financial department in its defense.

Investissement Québec reports that a colleague from Beauchesne first requested permission to pay for alcohol for employees.

“We can’t take a package that contains alcohol. If employees wish to drink alcohol, it is at their expense,” the human resources department allegedly replied.

Despite this refusal, she would agree with the hotel that the financial department of Investissement Québec “would not know that the billed service included alcohol service”. The gesture was therefore “thought out”, emphasizes the state-owned company.

After requesting access to information Montreal Journal revealed in February that the reception cost a total of $115,186, including just $8,716 in coupons for access to drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.


No other members of management were present on the evening. “The incident was reported the day after the event,” reports Investissement Québec.

Two days later, Beauchesne and an associate allegedly admitted the facts during a meeting.

The following week, the state corporation fired Beauchesne for “violating a governance rule” without providing further details, it said. Press in time, when.

The former vice president then filed a $2.7 million lawsuit against her, decrying “her exclusion from the workplace without notice or compensation.”

In its defense, Investissement Québec says Beauchesne “cheated” his employer with a “premeditated gesture.”

His “disobedience to the instructions received” demonstrates a “serious lack of judgment,” the state-owned enterprise said. “This was a deliberate, public and inexcusable breach of the plaintiff’s duties as a member of the executive committee and his duty of loyalty. »

“Bad faith,” says Beauchesne

In his suit, the former vice president, on the other hand, considers the actions of his former employer to be “insulting, careless, impetuous, closed, blind, stubborn.”

In his suit, he condemns “his expulsion from the workplace without notice or compensation” and considers Investissement Québec to be showing “irregular” behavior and “ill will.”

According to Jocelyn Beauchesne, the Crown corporation would be compounding its “already grossly abusive and very seriously damaging misconduct” by communicating his dismissal to the media.

Beauchesne plans to interview Guy Leblanc, CEO of Investissement Québec, Marie Zakaïb, First Vice President of Human Resources, and Julie Bouchard, Head of Internal Audit, among others in the coming weeks.

His total compensation was $674,303, which includes bonuses and benefits. He was not entitled to any compensation when he was fired.

Contacted by user PressJocelyn Beauchesne declined to comment on Investissement Québec’s defense. His lawyer, Bernard Moreau, only reiterated that his client “disputes the allegations of embezzlement made against him.”

Jocelyn Beauchesne, employed by Investissement Québec since 2017, emphasizes in his lawsuit that he achieved the “merger of the operations of the regional offices” of the state corporation with those of the Ministry of the Economy.

He says he’s getting “front row” in 2022 as the regional network’s first vice president. He also joined the management, credit and investment committee before his fall.

Beauchesne’s claim of 2.7 million includes 1.55 million in earnings for two years of service and 1.12 million in damages, mainly for damage to his reputation.

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