Defamation: Minister Éric Caire sued for $ 1.2 million

Businessman Georges Gantcheff is suing Minister Éric Caire for $1.2 million, who pointed the finger at him in his response to Liberal Lise Thériault on corruption.

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The real estate magnate believes that the Minister of Cybersecurity and Digital has made defamatory remarks about him, which damage his reputation.

On February 16, the MNA for Anjou–Louis-Riel made a strong media outing at the National Assembly against the detractors of Jean Charest and the legacy of the Liberal Party of Quebec.

She attacked the integrity of several elected rivals. She notably recalled that Minister Cairo had embellished his CV in his race for the leadership of the ADQ. Stung to the quick, the latter had replied. “Personally, I don’t have Gorges Gantcheff in my CV, Marc Bibeau, or Franco Fava or William Bartlett,” he had retorted to journalists in the corridors of parliament.

Since this statement was not made in the Blue Room or in a committee room, the caquist did not benefit from parliamentary immunity allowing deputies to express themselves freely without risk of being prosecuted.

In his action filed at the Montreal courthouse, the real estate entrepreneur argues that Éric Caire’s statements “unfairly and falsely imply” that he is not of integrity. “The defendant’s comments are slanderous, vexatious and defamatory,” insists Mr. Gantcheff. He also criticizes the minister for associating him with former PLQ fundraisers, a function he has never exercised.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of Gestion Cromwell Inc. also underlines that if he has already been associated by certain media with allegations of embezzlement at the Société immobilière du Québec (SIQ), the boss of the UPAC closed the investigation in 2019.

Eric Cairo’s office refused to comment on the situation. It was also not possible to know whether the minister’s legal fees will be paid for by the public treasury.

Note that the member for La Peltrie is not the first caquiste to have trouble with Georges Gantcheff. In 2016, François Legault had been put on notice to retract and apologize to the businessman for having associated him with illegal activities or gestures. At the time, the head of the CAQ said he was “one of the beneficiaries of the scheming” affecting the SIQ.


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