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September 19, 2012
Quebec corruption probe resumes after break
An inquiry into corruption in Quebec's construction industry has resumed after a three-month summer break.
France Charbonneau, the head of the commission, said in Montreal this week that most of its work this fall will focus on the infiltration of organized crime into the construction industry.
“We will hear from experts who will describe how organized crime infiltrates the legal activities of the construction sector and puts them in danger,” she said in an opening statement.
“We will also focus on violence and extortion which is present on certain construction worksites.”
Charbonneau said witnesses will testify about collusion and corruption related to the awarding and management of public contracts.
They will also testify about the financing of municipal and political parties.
Charbonneau noted that because the commission’s mandate covers the entire province, inquiries are underway in a number of areas outside Montreal.
She said investigations are taking place on Quebec’s north shore, the Abitibi region, Trois-Rivieres, the Eastern Townships and Quebec city.
Charbonneau adds that more than 1,600 tips have been received so far from different parts of the province.
The public inquiry began hearing witnesses in early June for three weeks, but some of the most important testimony is expected this fall.
Outgoing premier Jean Charest launched the inquiry after intense public pressure.
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2012
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