Training offered by Sophie Brochu: Hydro CEO’s spouse benefits from sales


Training by Hydro-Quebec CEO Sophie Brochu offered at L’Effet A generated sales of nearly $50,000 at her husband’s firm, learned The newspaper.

Tuesday, The newspaper revealed that the number 1 of Hydro-Quebec had offered training on a voluntary basis to L’Effet A to help women in business.

However, L’Effet A belongs to the private firm Médias O’Dandy, whose majority shareholder is Sophie Brochu’s spouse, John Gallagher.

It was therefore his firm that was able to get $48,650 by selling 70 training courses at $695 each given by Sophie Brochu recently.

Code of ethics

Even though Hydro-Québec’s code of ethics stipulates that the officer « must not use the attributions inherent in his position to obtain, directly or indirectly, a benefit for his own advantage or that of a third party », the state corporation believes that everything has been done in order.

“When she took up her post at Hydro-Québec, Sophie made sure that the Higher Employment Secretariat was informed of the situation. Sophie’s link with Effect A, through her spouse, has been the subject of all the declarations of interest inherent in the position she occupies, » assured Philippe Archambault, Head, Media and Government Affairs, at Hydro-Quebec.

Sophie Brochu

Sophie Brochu

“In collaboration with the Chair of our Board of Directors, Sophie has implemented governance so that, in her role as CEO of Hydro-Québec, she does not make any decision or orientation likely to favor the A Effect. decisions for this file are taken by the President of the Board of Directors », he added.

Asked if the link between Mme Brochu and his spouse’s firm were considered before the training was validated, the Secretariat for Higher Employment did not respond to the Log before publication.

Public notoriety

For her part, Isabelle Marquis, general manager of L’Effet A, argues that the links between Sophie Brochu and John Gallagher were public knowledge.

“For me, it was a continuity. It was revealed and open. It is not hidden that Sophie and John are a couple. Everything was done according to the rules of the art”, underlined the woman at the head of the firm of about thirty employees.

But the experts consulted by The newspaper are more critical.

“If her spouse’s firm was able to benefit directly or indirectly from this, it was Sophie Brochu’s error,” says Robert Pouliot, teacher at ESG-UQAM.

“It might have taken an extra degree of caution,” concludes Ivan Tchotourian, law professor at Laval University and specialist in governance.

– With the collaboration of Marie Christine Trottier

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