Star witness Ken Pereira returned to the Charbonneau corruption inquiry today for a heated back-and-forth with a lawyer representing the FTQ, one of Quebec’s most powerful union federations.
The former employee of the Quebec Federation of Labour's construction wing had been away from the courtroom since he fell and injured his head on Oct. 8.
In the days leading up to his injury, Pereira’s testimony was dramatic; he drew a picture of how the Hells Angels and the Mafia infiltrated the FTQ — a Quebec union federation representing 70,000 workers.
Today, Pereira was cross-examined by FTQ lawyer Denis Turcotte.
Turcotte questioned Pereira on his character and his alleged tendency to raise his voice.
“I want to establish that in the construction industry, there are people like Mr. Pereira who behave inappropriately,” the lawyer said.
When commission chair France Charbonneau asked Durcotte to explain where he was headed with his line questioning, Durcotte explained:
“A pit-bull is less credible than a little chihuaha.”
Charbonneau jumped into the exchange several times, warning the FTQ lawyer to stop interrupting the witness and to stop trying to discredit him.
“You must stop. You must move on to other things, Mr. Turcotte,” Charbonneau said.
In earlier testimony before the inquiry, Pereira alleged the ex-director of the FTQ's construction wing, Jocelyn Dupuis, ran up huge expense tabs and had links to organized crime.
Pereira said he went looking for evidence and found hundreds of false expense claims for $2,000 dinners and $300 breakfasts for members of Dupuis’ inner circle on the union executive.