Part Three of The Current
Investigating Quebec's construction industry
Quebec is beginning a two year probe aimed at investigating corruption and collusion in the construction industry. Judge France Charbonneau and her two commissioners are investigating the ties between the awarding of government contracts and the funding of political parties.
But it's a big problem - as former Montreal police chief Jacques Duchesneau, said: Quebec is "an empire of malfeasance." His report for the anti-corruption unit, U-PAC, helped forced the government to set up the public inquiry. Quebec Premier Jean Charest has granted the probe full powers to conduct its investigation.
The first calls for a public inquiry were in early 2009. That's when our colleagues at Radio-Canada's Enquète broadcast their first story about a construction union leader, his expense accounts, and his possible connections to organized crime.
The government has since set up a permanent anti-corruption squad, a special police task force, and also introduced a new law that would change the way the construction business operates. We were joined by the two journalists whose work exposed so much of this. Alain Gravel is the host of Enquète. And Marie-Maude Denis is on the show's investigative team. They've been working on these stories since 2008. They were in Montreal.
The Charbonneau Commission begins work today.
Other segments from today's show: