Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault is defending his government's decision to award millions of dollars worth of consulting contracts during the COVID-19 pandemic to a major American consulting firm.

Legault says McKinsey & Company helped advise his cabinet on best practices from around the world on managing COVID-19.

A Radio-Canada investigation published today reveals the company billed the Quebec government $6.6 million -- or $35,000 a day -- for advice on issues like COVID-19 vaccination and strategic communications.

Legault's four main opponents are denouncing the lack of transparency regarding the role that McKinsey & Company played during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Conservatives, Liberals, and Quebec solidaire say the Radio-Canada report is another reason to hold an independent public inquiry into the CAQ's management of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the PQ has suspended one of its candidates, Pierre Vanier, who made anti-Muslim comments on social media.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2022.