QUEBEC CITY – The Parti Québécois (PQ) is calling for Transport Minister Jacques Daoust to step down from cabinet after allegations of corruption and mismanagement surfaced in the department.
“I’ve just been appointed in this department. I don’t need this,” Daoust said at a press conference Tuesday, not hiding his exasperation.
Last Wednesday, it was revealed former transport minister Robert Poëti was looking into corruption in how government contracts were awarded, before he was shuffled from cabinet.
The problem now lies in Daoust’s hands.
“I don’t need this, but I’ll fix it,” Daoust said.
“The allegations that were made last week are serious, and we take them seriously,” said Finance Minister Carlos Leitao.
The government has made a formal request to Quebec’s auditor general to look into the corruption allegations in the ministry, as well as apparent intimidation of ministry auditor, Annie Trudel.
“If there’s a better shake up to be made, trust me, it will be made,” Daoust said.
However, opposition parties accused the minister of sitting on the information for months without acting.
During question period, blame was also thrown at Premier Philippe Couillard, who said he didn’t know about problems in the Transport Ministry until he heard it in the news while having breakfast Wednesday morning.
The PQ insisted Couillard should force Daoust to resign from cabinet.
“We were informed that the former minister knew exactly what was going on in the Ministry of Transport and the new minister did nothing? I mean, it just doesn’t make any sense,” said PQ MNA, Alexandre Cloutier.