The province of Quebec has a unique history and culture. While known predominantly for its french-speaking population, the province also has a darker side, one involving corruption and organized crime.
In 2011, the Liberal government created the Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC) to fight against corruption, with a special focus on addressing corruption within the construction industry. The same year, the Charbonneau commission was enacted. Centered around alleged corruption, it was a public inquiry into the awarding and management of public contracts involving the construction industry.
Throughout the year, information from the UPAC investigation was leaking in the media. Prejudicial delays were the main consequence of these leaks, and some of the trial accusations never moved forward. To follow this leaking of information, the ex-commissaire of UPAC, Robert Lafrenière, launched an investigation aimed at diving deeper into the leaks.
Last week, we learned that Mr. Lafrenière himself was the main member who was leaking the information. Also the same week, we learned that Mr. Tony Accurso, the main suspect in the Charbonneau commission, finally got his verdict of four years in prison.
To talk more about what has happened in the past, I interviewed Mr. Ken Pereira, a star witness during the Charbonneau commission. He was a union leader at FTQ-construction and saw with his own eyes the corruption and fraud that was happening there. This is the first of a two-part report on this topic.