Bastarache clears Charest government

Commission find no proof to support allegations of influence peddling

A commission of inquiry charged with looking into allegations of corruption surrounding Quebec’s judicial nomination process has cleared Jean Charest’s government of accusations of influence-peddling. In his long-awaited report, former Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache concludes there is nothing to support allegations by Charest’s former justice minister Marc Bellemare that he was pressured to appoint judges by Liberal party fundraisers. That’s not to say the nomination process came up smelling like roses: Bastarache found it riddled with “deficiencies,” and “vulnerable to all manner of interventions and influences.” But he also concludes Bellemare was “pursuing his own objectives”—and not those of Liberal bagmen—”with respect to judicial appointments.”

Montreal Gazette

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