MONTREAL - Testimony at the Charbonneau Commission Thursday included a tale of blatant, old-style intimidation by one business interest against another.

Martin Carrier, an entrepreneur specializing in ceramic tile installation, told the corruption inquiry that he received threats after obtaining a contract to do work at the Universite de Montreal in 2004.

The Quebec City-based Carrier received a threatening phone call soon after winning the contract.

Luckily, the call was recorded and police recognized it as the voice of Francesco Del Balso, who was imprisoned during the Operation Colisee, a round-up which dealt a serious blow to the Rizzuto clan.

Last year, seven years after the initial incident, Carrier received another threat, in the form of a condolence card.

It read: "Dear friend, don't bid on Montreal contracts. Your family may receive a card identical to this one. Final warning."

Carrier admits he was shaken by the threats but decided to stand-up to intimidation.

"It kind of knocks you a bit. We're supposed to be free in Quebec,” he said.

Judge Charbonneau thanked Carrier for being the first victim of intimidation to stand up and speak.

"I want to congratulate you for your exceptional courage and I encourage others to do just the same,” she said.