Harasser who receives compensation from IVAC | The PLQ fears other frauds

(Quebec) The Quebec Liberal Party believes that there is a “serious problem” of governance within the General Directorate of Compensation for Victims of Criminal Acts (IVAC), which paid compensation to a convicted harasser in jail. He is concerned about the organization’s ability to detect fraud, and asks the Minister of Justice Simon Jolin-Barrette to shed light.

“There is a serious governance problem at IVAC. I invite the minister and the IVAC to go back to the drawing board and see if there are no other cases,” says Liberal MP André A. Morin.

He was reacting to the revelations of The Press on compensation paid to a harasser sentenced to 14 months in prison by the organization whose mission is to support victims to enable them to recover.

Since 2022, IVAC has paid compensation to a man claiming to be a victim of domestic violence. As required by law, he only had to complete two three-page forms, one for himself and one for his daughter. Even after being made aware of three judgments exposing his criminal behavior, as well as reports from the DPJ which describe him as an absent and inadequate father, the IVAC did not change its mind.

The Minister of Justice Simon Jolin-Barrette declined the interview request from The Press. He said on social media that he had “read the article” and that the “situation reported therein is unacceptable and raises significant concerns.” “We are doing the necessary checks,” he said.

For the Liberal MP, this is not enough. “It came for me. I found it revolting. I just couldn’t believe it. What I find incredible is that the IVAC has proof that the gentleman was convicted. It’s not just allegations. And what we are learning this morning is that it is not enough. They’re waiting for I don’t know what, but it doesn’t make sense,” says the Liberal MP.

The parliamentarian is also shocked by the response of the IVAC, which affirms on the one hand that it has no data to provide on the fraud committed against it, and on the other, that it “does not observe a trend particular following the reform of the law. “Let’s see, it doesn’t work,” he says. It is not possible to say that we have no data, and then say that there is no trend,” he points out.

“If they ever realize they’ve been defrauded, I hope they go and get the money. I hope they will act quickly, quickly,” he adds.

And the law, adopted in 2021, allows the IVAC to act. Article 112 provides that a person who “makes a declaration or transmits a document when he knows or should have known that the declaration or document contains false or misleading information”, is liable to “a fine of at least $1,000 and not more than $5,000.”

During the study of the bill, Minister Jolin-Barrette affirmed that the IVAC could “suspend” immediately a person’s payments “while we carry out the re-evaluation” of a file, when the IVAC is made aware that any information provided is “false or inaccurate”.

“If it’s an organized system of fraud, well, of course, we’re probably going to end up with fines at the criminal level,” he explained. He then affirmed that his government was going to “establish guidelines to be able to make it clear within the IVAC in what circumstances” the organization could suspend compensation payments.

In a press release, the IVAC only lists the powers conferred on it by law, and that the processing of files is “confidential”.

With Isabelle Hachey, The Press

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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