Charest relents, as corruption inquiry appears likely
Published Tuesday, October 18, 2011 7:32PM EDT
Quebecers can expect an inquiry into corruption within the province's construction industry, a Liberal member of the province's national assembly told reporters on Tuesday.
Before the announcement, Premier Jean Charest held a meeting with his caucus on Tuesday morning, then four of his top lieutenants followed him to his office for a follow-up session. Deputy Premier Line Beauchamp, Public Security Minister Robert Dutil, Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier and Transport Minister Pierre Moreau all took part in the second meeting in Charest's office.
Until now, Charest has brushed off calls for such an inquiry, even though polls show it is exactly what the public wants.
Heading into Tuesday's meeting, the premier did not make any comment on the matter, but the public security minister told reporters that "the public desire for a commission of inquiry is very clear."
The corruption issue has also created problems within the ranks of Charest's own party.
In lieu of calling an inquiry, Charest's government has so far looked to other means of cracking down on corruption.
It has launched a permanent anti-corruption squad that is staffed with police officers, prosecutors and public servants, and the government has introduced new rules for political financing and municipal contracting.
With files from The Canadian Press