As the front page of La Presse helpfully points out this morning, Jean Charest and the Liberals are the sole political party in the province to be against a public inquiry into the construction industry. Two of the province’s four major union federations, the provincial police association, the association of public prosecutors, the Union of Quebec Municipalities (and many more!) are all in favour–including longtime holdout FTQ, which given its presence in the construction industry, stands to be awfully embarrassed by such a thing.
I don’t know enough to jump whole hog on the public inquiry bandwagon. My knowledge of the things extends to having read much of the Cliche Report, which in 1974 outlined in near-surgical detail the level of mobbed-up, strong-armed corruption within the province’s construction industry. The Cliche hearings, co-wrote an idealistic young lawyer named Brian Mulroney at the time, “offered a daily fare composed of tricksters, crooks and scum.” The ensuing report arguably set back the cause of said tricksters, crooks and scum by a decade or more. Surely that’s a good thing, right?