Charbonneau Commission halts public hearings until January
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012 11:40AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:35PM EST
The Charbonneau Commission is taking a break from public hearings for the next two months while its lawyers and investigators regroup and examine what they have.
Justice France Charbonneau said that while the public hearings are fascinating, many members of the public don't realize that investigative work continues well into the night, every night.
She said that this break does not mean that work will stop. On the contrary, Charbonneau said the people who work behind the scenes need time to analyse the tremendous amount of information that has been collected in recent months.
"A public inquiry is different from a trial because an inquiry evolves daily and constantly," said Charbonneau.
"Every day we receive new information that is pertinent to our investigation which sometimes obliges us to change the order of presentation of witnesses and proof."
The Commission also has to hire new lawyers following the departures of two key staff members.
Chief counsel Sylvain Lussier stepped down in October following allegations of conflict of interest, while Claude Chartrand, assistant chief counsel, resigned in November.
During December and January, lawyers and investigators will also meet with witnesses before they testify in order to know what they will say.
The commission is due to resume public hearings on January 21, at which point it will focus on political fundraising.
Over the past few months the commission has heard from a litany of witnesses who have described how construction companies colluded with municipal staff members