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Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt speaks to reporters in 2010 in Laval, Quebec.

Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Genivar Inc. is among four engineering companies whose Laval offices were raided on Tuesday as part of a sweeping police investigation into allegations of corrupt practices related to public infrastructure projects.

There have been no arrests, and officials for the anti-corruption squad said witnesses are being questioned.

The other three companies are Groupe Dessau, Cima+ and Aecom, but publicly traded Genivar is the largest.

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Genivar spokesperson Isabelle Adjahi said in an interview that the search warrant action Tuesday morning came as a surprise.

The police action apparently involves taking a look at firms that do or have done business with the City of Laval, she said.

"There isn't much we can say at this point," she said. "At the moment, we're cooperating with police."

Genivar has had infrastructure contracts with the city in the past, she added. There are about 250 employees at Genivar's Laval offices.

The latest police searches in Laval come on the heels of other raids in the municipality north of Montreal, including at city hall and at Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt's home.

Mr. Vaillancourt, who is on medical leave, has faced a series of allegations over his career about misusing public funds, including that he offered bribes to provincial politicians. Mr. Vaillancourt has always denied any wrongdoing and has never been charged criminally.

A spokeswoman for the anti-corruption agency, UPAC, said Tuesday morning's raid involved about 90 officers. Search warrants were served and witnesses questioned, said Anne-Frédérick Laurence.

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No details of the raids are being provided, she added.

Ms. Adjahi said about 47 per cent of Montreal-based Genivar's business last year was in Quebec, and roughly 17 per cent of that was in municipal infrastructure.

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

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