McGill hospital exec had house built by contractor: sources

Credits: Facebook

Eric Yvan Lemay and Felix Seguin | QMI AGENCY

MONTREAL - A businessman received contracts from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC ) after paying more than $500,000 toward a hospital executive's mansion, QMI Agency has learned.

It's the latest case of alleged graft involving the $2.3 billion MUHC hospital that will be the largest in Canada upon its scheduled completion in 2015.

Yanai Elbaz, former right-hand man to former MUHC CEO Arthur Porter, completed a 5,000-square-foot, $1.7 million home in north-end Montreal in 2007. Elbaz's salary as MUHC director was $200,000.

Two sources confirm that Quebec's anti-corruption squad, Project Hammer, raided the mansion last year.
Sources also tell QMI Agency that entrepreneur Maurice O'Hana helped settle $563,000 in outstanding bills on the home.

Subcontractors were asked to bill Onyx Construction, a residential construction company owned by O'Hana.
He created a second company that won $2.5 million worth of MUHC construction contracts between 2009 and 2012, most coming without a bidding process.

At the time, Elbaz was running day-to-day MUHC operations. He left the agency in 2011.

QMI Agency contacted O'Hana by telephone but the businessman insisted he didn't remember being president of Onyx Construction.

The MUHC says any non-tendered contracts were awarded within accepted guidelines.

The superhospital has been embroiled in scandal since last year.

QMI Agency revealed last month that another MUHC contractor gave Yanai Elbaz's wife a $65,000-a-year job.

In September, the former CEO of the hospital's main builder, SNC-Lavalin, was arrested and faces fraud charges.

Pierre Duhaime is suspected of paying $22 million to land the contract to build the hospital.

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