PQ warns inquiry to use more caution

Senior Quebec political analyst Bernard St-Laurent looks at PQ call for inquiry 'prudence' after a former PQ minister is named.

Bernie's Blog takes on the timing of PQ's commission criticism

Premier Pauline Marois cautioned the Charbonneau inquiry to exercise prudence. (CBC)

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has asked the Charbonneau corruption commission to exercise caution as it continues to hear witnesses.

Deputy Premier François Gendron went further, telling reporters he is "disturbed" by the way the inquiry is proceeding.

They are upset because longtime political organizer Gilles Cloutier testified that former Parti Québécois cabinet minister Guy Chevrette intervened in the awarding of a municipal contract.

Chevrette has been one of the most popular figures in PQ circles for decades.

Cloutier also said that one of Chevrette's best friends asked for $100,000 to make sure Cloutier's company would get the contract.

Chevrette is denying the whole affair ever happened, and he's threatening legal action.

The PQ is upset because it's the first time the party brand has been associated with alleged corruption and collusion. The PQ believes integrity is one of its trump  cards.

Before Christmas, many opinion leaders criticized the commission because it was allowing witnesses to make statements without providing corroborating evidence.

The PQ has had plenty of time to raise a cautionary flag about the commission. But now that it has waited until one of its own has been accused of wrongdoing, the timing of PQ protests undermines its message.