Public hearings for the inquiry, which is looking into allegations of corruption and collusion in relation to building contracts for public works in the province, resumed on Monday inside the building on Boulevard René Lévesque in Montreal.
The Charbonneau Commission was established by the government last October following persistent media reports throughout the latter part of the past decade suggesting the industry was rife with discrimination, intimidation tactics, collusion, corruption and links to organised crime.
In her opening remarks on Monday morning, Superior Court Justice France Charbonneau says the public will hear allegations that a number of public works contracts were split among a select group of companies and further intimations that certain city officials were ‘paid off’.
“It is certain we will hear about elected officials in certain cities, notably Laval and Montreal,” Charbonneau said. “We will also focus on the violence and extortion present on some construction work sites.”
Investigators working throughout the summer have been looking into the records of a number of municipalities, including the Abitibi region, Trois-Rivières, the Eastern Townships and Quebec City.
In total, it is expected that around 50 people will give evidence before Christmas. A report in the Montreal Gazette says the Commission has received more than 1,600 tips via a confidential phone line, by email and through written letters.