Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Quebec Needs Its Own Gomery Inquiry

In my last blog, I wrote at length of the pathetic state of Quebec’s electoral system, but yesterday’s revelations by Marc Bellemare, the former Quebec Minister of Justice and Quebec Attorney General, went way beyond what many of us here in Quebec had suspected.

In short, Bellemare stated that the Quebec Liberal bagmen had exercised undue influence upon Premier Charest’s Cabinet in order to make sure that their preferred candidates were appointed to the judiciary. A second unidentified source today confirmed Bellemare’s allegations.

As you can imagine, these allegations cut to the heart of the democratic legitimacy of Quebec’s elected government. So serious are these allegations is that the Premier finally capitulated and announced that he would be striking a public inquiry to examine the manner in which judges are appointed.

So far so good, but what about Bellemare’s other allegations: money in envelopes being transferred to representatives from the Liberal Party, undue influence by Liberal financial backers in other government appointments and interference in the legislative process?

Apparently, we are supposed to accept Charest’s word that everything is above board with the manner in which the party receives its funding in spite of the fact that three other ministers said publicly that they couldn’t prevent businesses in the construction industry from making financial contributions and that these donations are illegal.

Moreover, we are also supposed to put aside our desire to have a public inquiry into the financial link between the construction industry and the Liberal government because it struck an investigative task force called Operation Hammer.

Wow John, which comic book universe do you live in?

Apparently in John’s world, the very individual who has had some very serious allegations made concerning his behavior can exercise his judgment in setting the terms of reference for the public inquiry. Conversely, the entire political class here in Quebec has come out and said that Charest cannot be one of the principle targets of the investigation and decide how the very same investigation will be conducted.

John doesn’t get it, but Pauline Marois the leader of the PQ does.

It’s all fine and well to have a public inquiry, but the terms of reference in this instance need to be determined by an impartial, independent, competent person who has much needed experience in dealing with such matters. According to Pauline, none other than retired judge John Gomery would be perfect for the job.

Couldn’t agree with you more Pauline. Brilliant suggestion.

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