If I were in Sophie Brochu's place

If I were in Sophie Brochu's shoes


The CEO of Hydro-Québec should put an end to the granting of L’effet A training contracts that are granted to the company of her spouse, John Gallagher.  

My colleagues Francis Halin, Marie Christine Trottier and Charles Mathieu reported yesterday that Hydro-Québec had purchased contracts from L'effet A for $250,000 since the appointment in April 2020 of Ms. Brochu at the head of the state-owned company. 

Hydro-Québec may say that “Sophie Brochu did not intervene in any way likely to promote Effect A, these decisions were never her responsibility”, it smacks of the appearance of a conflict of interest, n No offense to the Hydro bonzes. 

In its defense, Hydro-Québec adds that the company “registers participants in L’effet A since 2016, when Éric Martel was CEO”.  

How does the granting of 87 contracts to L'effet A during the 5 years of Mr. Martel's reign justify the granting of 134 contracts under Ms. Brochu, who has been in office for 2 1⁄2 years?&nbsp ;

The context is completely different. Éric Martel has no connection with L’Effect A du Spouse de Sophie Brochu. Which is obviously not the case for the CEO of Hydro. 


To show you to what extent Hydro-Québec and its CEO have painted themselves in the corner, here is the link between Ms. Brochu and L'effet A reported on the site of the state corporation, under the “Governance” hat, where the members of the Board of Directors and senior management are presented. 

After developing Ms. Brochu's extensive curriculum vitae, Hydro-Québec takes the liberty of boasting the link between her CEO and her spouse's company: “In addition, it is specified, she acts as the leader of L'effet A, an initiative aimed at promoting the presence of women at all levels of organizations. »

No doubt about this assertion that she “is the leader of the A effect”: the CEO of Hydro has even completed a “30-day Masterclass with Sophie Brochu” training course which has so far brought in nearly $50,000 to the spouse's company. 


What is more, my colleagues Halin, Trottier and Mathieu reported yesterday that Ms. Brochu has herself “animated” training courses purchased by Hydro. Nothing less.

Indeed, in 2021, seven Hydro-Québec employees took the “30-day Masterclass with Sophie Brochu”, offered by L'effet A, for a total bill of $4,595. 

Let us agree that 'Hydro pushes the envelope a little further with the “30-day Masterclass with Sophie Brochu” by L'effet A! 

But… There's nothing there for Hydro. “The governance of our organization and the rules of ethics are solid, it is not true that we are going to deprive women of relevant training for their professional development, whether it is that of L'effet A or others”.


The participants-managers who took the “Défi 100 jours L'effet A” training course, from the company of Ms. Brochu's spouse, come from the various vice-presidencies and other administrative units of Hydro . 

The cost per participant is usually $2250.

The departments most “attracted” by Effect A are: Information and Communications Technologies, Human Resources, Risk Management, Planning/Strategies/Expertise, Communications/Government and Aboriginal Affairs. 

And from the other administrative units of Hydro-Québec, the participants came from, among others, the “Corporate Affairs, Legal and Governance” Group; of Hydro-Québec Distribution and Shared Services, Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie, Hydro-Québec Innovation Production, Hydro-Québec Production.


Fr Pursuant to article 5.4.2 “Conflict of interest – Incompatible interests”, of the CODE OF ETHICS AND DEONTOLOGY for directors and officers of Hydro-Québec, the Director or the Officer “must avoid being in a situation where he or a Related Person could benefit, directly or indirectly, from a situation or a Transaction involving the Company”.

As “Leader of Effect A”, Sophie Brochu must demand that Hydro-Québec stop buying training offered by his spouse's company.