Three year's worth of anguish is over for Toqué! chef-owner Normand Laprise, reports Le Journal de Montréal. Revenu Québec has exonerated the recent Order of Canada member, along with his partners and restaurants, of a tax burden of just under $600,000 over alleged hidden alcohol and food sales, notably at the recently closed Cocagne. Laprise was personally on the hook for a third of the amount. Reporter Jean-François Cloutier writes that the out of court settlement decision to absolve the prominent chef was made without apology, comment or acknowledgement of error. This all comes after Revenu Québec declared that Laprise "falsely represented income by carelessness or willful omission."
"They make calculations, assertions and then it's up to us to prove them wrong," said Laprise. "They can push people into bankruptcy like that. We've swallowed tens of thousands of dollars in accounting and other expenses only be told that our contribution has been reduced to zero."