NEWS

PQ to table law for more control over public contracts

10/26/2012 06:18 EDT | Updated 12/26/2012 05:12 EST
Quebec's provincial government said it will act quickly to prevent collusion and corruption after hearing shocking testimony at the Charbonneau commission.

"We will continue to present some [legislation] about this issue," said Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois Friday at a news conference in Drummondville.

The first piece of legislation the PQ will table could be a sweeping law that adds unprecedented controls over the public tendering process.

The law would touch on every part of the private sector seeking contracts with the province.

Labour Minister Agnès Maltais wouldn't give more details about her party's plans but insists action must be taken soon.

"We have to change things and we are changing things," she said.

She added the new measures will be presented next week at the National Assembly.

According to information acquired by CBC's French-language service, Radio-Canada, businesses that bid on construction projects will have to obtain a certificate from the Treasury Board showing the company is in good standing.

This week, the Charbonneau commission heard from Gilles Surprenant, a former engineer for the City of Montreal, who admitted to pocketing up to $600,000 in kickbacks from construction companies.

The premier said language and identity issues will remain key parts of the government's agenda, despite the new focus on ending corruption.

Marois described the situation faced by the French language in Montreal as an "emergency" and said Bill 101 will be reviewed to remedy the situation.

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