An Action Bemocratique du Quebec member of the National Assembly, Sylvie Roy, calls on the Liberal government of Premier Jean Charest to establish a commission of inquiry into the construction industry to examine alleged links among construction companies, politicians and organized crime.
The report of the anticollusion unit of the Ministry of Transport, led by former Montreal police chief Jacques Duchesneau, confirms problems of corruption. collusion and influence peddling among firms doing business with the Transport Ministry. The anticollusion unit will later be incorporated into UPAC. the province's permanent anticorruption unit.
OCTOBER 19, 2011
After two years of pressure from all sides, Premier Charest establishes a commission of inquiry with a mandate to bring to light possible collusion and corruption in the construction industry. Quebec Superior Court Justice France Charbonneau, a former prosecutor, is appointed commissioner.
NOVEMBER 9, 2011
n response to criticism about the mandate of the commission, the Charest government grants it full powers of a commission of inquiry.
MAY 15, 2012
The government introduces Bill 75 to give the commission additional powers. The bill is passed. The commission can now conduct searches and seize documents.
MAY 8-21, 2012
The commission begins to hear witnesses Meanwhile, Jacques Duchesneau makes headlines with a second report, on his own account, revealing the secret financing of political parties.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2012
In the Quebec election, the Charest government is defeated and Charest loses in his own constituency. He resigns as Liberal leader. The Parti Quebecois forms a minority government. Jacques Duchesneau is elected as a Coalition Avenir Quebec [CAQ] member of the National Assembly.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2012
The commission's hearings resume. Initial testimony focuses on links between the construction industry and the mafia.
OCTOBER 2, 2012
Testimony by former contractor Lino Zambito points to collusion between contractors and Montreal municipal officials, including former executive committee chair Frank Zampino.
OCTOBER 4, 2012
UPAE conducts searches at the home of Laval Mayor Gilles Vaitlancourt, at Vaillancourt's city hall office and at other Laval municipal offices.
OCTOBER 18, 2012
Former Montreal municipal engineer Gilles Surprenant admits that he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from contractors between 1991 and 2008.