Herron Today, Gone Tomorrow: Nursing home announces 31 new vacancies!

Amid the Grandma Guignol at his Résidence Herron nursing home in Dorval — 31 dead, mass staff walkout, provincial government takeover, survivors left sitting in their own shit for days — how disappointing that my old friend Samir Chowieri remains steadfastly unavailable for comment.

The Katasa Group CEO, presumably self-isolating in his palatial digs on Chemin d’Aylmer in Gatineau, alas cannot come to the phone, company spokesdaughter Katherine Chowieri keeps telling press hacks inquiring about the deaths. (Sam’s other daughters, Samantha and Tanya, also work for the fambly business, but are maintaining radio silence.)

Silent Sam

No doubt the renowned real estatesman, who operates, among many ventures, seven wrinkly bins in Quebec, is saving his story for the police, health authorities and the coroner’s office, all of whom have launched investigations into our protagonist.

They will discover that Sam allegedly built his multi-million dollar real estate empire the hard way: one hashish brick at a time.

Casa Chowieri (Frank drone photo)

As detailed in LaPresse today (April 15), Sam has been under police surveillance for decades.

In 1981, he was arrested for dealing drugs after Interpol tipped off the RCMP that Chowieri’s brother, Elias, along with another man, had been picked up on the Syria/Lebanon border with 14.4 kg of hash.

The pair admitted the shipment was supposed to be delivered to Sam in Canada.

Katherine Chowieri

Ultimately, the RCMP arrested Sam and his brother and confiscated 73 pounds of hash. Sam got two years in prison, Elias six months.

The following year, even before his release from prison, Sam was convicted of a new crime, this time a fraud plot involving the purchase of 12.5 tons of cheese.

Tanya Chowieri

In 1992, the RCMP opened another criminal investigation into Sam’s hijinks. LaPresse reports that the force’s Proceeds of Crime Division suspected he was a major drug trafficker in the federal capital region and he was laundering dough for various associates.

Police documents obtained by LaPresse revealed that the main source of income for Chowieri was “payments he receives from the Mafia to launder money from organized crime.”

During a wiretap operation, police heard Sam’s brother and another family member discussing the arrest of a drug trafficker at the family business HQ. According to them, the trafficker was indiscreet. “The flash is dead. Money is king,” one of them said. The other replied that he would be selling his Jaguar to go under the radar in the wake of the arrest.

In 2002, Sam was fined $125,000 for breaches of tax laws. He had been hiding personal expenses on the business side, including work on his home and repairs on his Rolls-Royce.

Samantha Chowieri

More recently, Sam was involved in the Chateau Cartier Hotel project in Gatineau with Rhéal Dallaire, a Montreal organized crime figure already convicted of fraud. A judge ruled that Sam had participated in a “scheme” to avoid paying off a mortgage.

Dallaire was identified as one of Sam’s “close associates” by the RCMP. Last year, his home was destroyed by a mysterious arsonist.

According to Le Droit, when the RCMP executed its search warrant in 1994, one of the money laundering transactions under investigation was the purchase of the Chowieri family’s Résidence de l’Ile, one of the many residences they operate.





  1. Nice for FrançoisMag to pay attention to Québec politics. Aylmer, PQ (popn 55,000) is 11.9 kilometres from Ottawa.

  2. This is where the elderly end up when they are discharged from hospitals’ “Continuing Complex Care” units — with bottom lines more important than human life.

    This family is a good case for the guillotine.

    From the Katasa/Herron website:

    “Our qualified and attentive personnel offers quality care services. Our facilities are modern and tailored to resident’s needs. A nutritionist helps us establish personalized meal plans and our activities program can help residents to keep a healthy mind in a healthy body! A nurse is present at all times.”

    As the kids say nowadays on the interwebs: lolzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


    “Not everything in America has to make a profit. If conservatives get to call universal health care “socialized medicine,” I get to call private, for-profit health care “soulless vampire bastards making money off human pain.” Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But, Bill, the profit motive is what sustains capitalism.” Yes, and our sex drive is what sustains the human species, but we don’t try to fuck everything. But like everything else that’s good and noble in life, some bean counter decided that hospitals could be big business, so now they’re not hospitals anymore; they’re Jiffy Lubes with bedpans. The more people who get sick, and stay sick, the higher their profit margins, which is why they’re always pushing the Jell-O.“ — Bill Maher

  3. Have you noticed that “getting the economy going again” implies the economy has stopped functioning? Well, we can still buy groceries, the electricity is still arriving at our house, there’s still gas in the gas pumps, we can still get seeds for the garden, odds and sods for miscellaneous household chores, etc. And I’m still getting a bill for the internet, without which you wouldn’t be able to read my thoughts, such as they are.

    The economy is just fine, it’s the people whose life work is extracting money from it who are in trouble. Let ’em whinge.

  4. Nicolas Lachance in Le Journal du Quebec (16 avril 2020) says
    Propriétaires du CHSLD Herron, le président du Groupe Katasa et ses trois filles sont de grands donateurs du Parti libéral du Québec depuis de nombreuses années.

  5. Calice! Maudites voleurs(ses).
    Isn’t it interesting how politicians like Doug Ford and Francois Legault say their hearts are “breaking” over the homeless, the seniors and the poor workers of the precariat, who need to cobble together a living at two or more LTC centres.
    Where the hell were they’re bloody precious hearts before this?
    My wife was an RN in a nursing home (she was smart and retired at the first whiff of this mess), which hadn’t been inspected in three years – and every time there WAS an inspection, the ministry warned the home in advance, so they could clean up, restock and bring in extra staff. After the inspection, it was back to business as usual – a playground for the technocrats, who always seem to be reproducing like kudzu, and a hell for the health-care workers who have to take orders from these morons, and are disappearing faster than free food at a press conference.

  6. Radio-Canada’s “Enquête” program is doing a full enquiry, and Anglo CBC follows along.

    But the Katasa Group — headed by Chowieri and his three daughters — owns residential properties in Ottawa, Montreal and Sept-Îles, as well as two commercial buildings in Gatineau. It operates three long-term care homes for seniors in Gatineau and four others elsewhere in Quebec.

    Even back in the day Résidence Herron doubled its capacity from 80 to 154 long-term care beds in 2016, but staffing was questioned then. Residents pay thousands of dollars a month for a bed at the facility.

    Then there is shutdown of Manoir Pierrfonds to make a more luxury villa for active seniors, the former tenants pushe to Dorval’s Residence Herron, a Centre d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée, or CHSLD.

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