Duchesneau to run for CAQ: report
Published Friday, August 3, 2012 2:06PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 4, 2012 2:26PM EDT
MONTREAL – Francois Legalt's fledgling CAQ is reportedly on the verge of making the bombshell announcement that Jacques Duchesneau is going to run for the party in the September 4 provincial election, according to a report published in the Globe and Mail newspaper Friday.
The CAQ has scheduled a press conference Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in St. Jerome in which they are expected to announce that Jacques Duchesneau will run for the party in St. Jerome, the riding formerly known as Prevost.
The seat, which was redrawn in the most recent electoral reform, is currently held by the PQ’s Gilles Robert, who won handily in 2008.
However the seat has changed hands many times through the years and the CAQ predecessor ADQ won the seat in the 2007 election under Martin Camirand.
Duchesneau, a former Montreal police chief, mayoral candidate and head of CATSA, is perhaps best known for his more recent role as whistleblower against corruption.
The party is neither confirming nor denying the news.
PQ Leader Pauline Marois reacted warily to Duchesneau's reported candidacy.
"I'd be a bit stunned because he said he would not be returning to politics," citing Duchesneau, who had suggested his political career was over after a defeat in Montreal municipal politics.
If it happens, she said, she believes his candidacy would harm the Liberals and not her party: "I believe the Parti Quebecois has been very clear on the integrity issue," she said.
Duchesneau had been hired by the Charest Liberals and produced a report on illicit ties between construction companies, political parties and organized crime groups like the Mafia.
That report was leaked to the media and created such a sensation last fall that after two years of refusing to call a public inquiry, Charest finally relented.
Duchesneau has since declared that he was the person who leaked the document. He testified at the inquiry that he gave it to a journalist because he was convinced the government wouldn't do anything with it.
Duchesneau has a history of public spats with several of professional colleagues, including the provincial government and Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay.
There was a quick example of the impact his candidacy would have on the race.
During his testimony, Duchesneau explained that he was so disturbed by the scope of corruption that even after he left the employ of the government he worked as a volunteer on a second volume of his report.
He said he received tips from members of the public and made about 50 pages of notes from informants describing illegal schemes in the construction industry and political financing.
He produced a second report that has never surfaced publicly. He tabled it with the inquiry in June and it was to receive a fact-checking before being published for public consumption.
Duchesneau's still-secret report is titled, "The illegal funding of political parties: A hypocritical system where influence is awarded and decisions are for sale."
-With a file from The Canadian Press