Something rotten in the kingdom of UPAC
File Photo, Annie T. Roussel
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 05:00
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 05:00
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Jean Charest must really laugh in his beard. The Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC) has been undermined by a climate of work rotten. His great patron, Robert Lafrenière, seems to be also more inclined to chase the journalistic sources that are the real swindlers. His obsession has even led to the arrest without charge of the liberal mp and former police officer Guy Ouellette.
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Under the leadership of Mr. Lafreniere, UPAC is dysfunctional. In this spider’s web worthy of a large village, where the elders are called between them, the separation of powers takes awfully to his cold.
Robert Lafrenière is the father-in-law of the boss of the Sûreté du Québec, Martin Prud’homme. Which is a friend of liberal mna Guy Ouellette. Ditto for Lino Zambito, the former-witness the star of the Charbonneau commission and slayer of Mr. Lafrenière.
For citizens, there is no more way of knowing who is telling the truth and who’s lying. In this meeting, burlesque and Dynasty with District 31, it is also a real political crisis. Is there a prime minister in the room to take care of that ?
The worm original in the apple is in the very genesis of the UPAC. In 2011, under high pressure, the liberal prime minister, Jean Charest, whose political party is suspected of corruption, creates the UPAC and appoints its commissioner, Robert Lafrenière.
On the political level, it is as if a wolf had chosen the forest guard responsible for the prevent them from returning into the fold. The moment when the prime minister gives himself the power to appoint the one who has to investigate his own party, nothing good can result. It is a simple matter of ethics.
In fact, the impression is that Robert Lafrenière is more busy in making policy than in the outcome of the lengthy investigation Mâchurer on corruption in LPQ. That is also Mr. Charest and his ex-grand treasurer, Marc Bibeau.
Sword in the water
Of the policy, Mr. Lafrenière in fact when he announced that he will not make any arrest during the election campaign. He did this when, in 2016, the UPAC proceeded to the arrest of the former ministers Nathalie Normandeau and Marc-Yvan Côté on the day critical of the budget.
All, coincidentally, at the same time as the term of office of Mr. Lafrenière was ending. Become untouchable politically, it was therefore renamed by Philippe Couillard.
The whole work feels bad. Even to the point where voices were raised to request that we investigate the investigators ! The most serious, however, is this. If the trend continues, Quebec will likely go to vote a second time in a row, without knowing the outcome of Mâchurer, whatever it is.
In short, the circus has gone on long enough. But who will dare to pass the vacuum cleaner at the top of the UPAC ?
As his boss will be appointed by the prime minister and not by the national Assembly, even the creation of a monitoring committee (UPAC will not be just a vulgar sword in the water.