QUEBEC CITY – Damning testimony about the “illegal awarding of government contracts” has outraged politicians at Quebec’s National Assembly.
It left many pointing fingers, as opposition parties try to get to the bottom of the scandal.
“I really was scared,” said Louise Boily, internal auditor director at Transports Quebec, Wednesday night in front of the Public Administration Committee at the National Assembly.
Both women said they were afraid to reveal their suspicions that Transports Quebec was awarding contracts without tender.
The whistleblowers also said numerous reports they prepared were later doctored and falsified.
Thursday morning, there was fallout from the meeting as opposition parties demanded an emergency debate.
WATCH BELOW: Whistleblower testifies at National Assembly hearing
It’s not enough for opposition parties, who are calling for the Premier to fire Marsolais and Transport Minister Jacques Daoust.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen a government table false documents in the National Assembly,” said interim Parti Québécois leader Sylvain Gaudreault.
“It should be seen as contempt.”
Yet, the second opposition argued responsibility also lies with former ministers, like Gaudreault himself who ran the transport file under former PQ Premier Pauline Marois.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. I’m going to stop you right there,” Gauldreault said in response.
He argued he didn’t know the scope of the problem, but said he tried to overhaul Transports Quebec and appointed an external auditor.
The scandal also roped in an embattled former Couillard cabinet minister: Sam Hamad was also transport minister under Premier Jean Charest.
Now, Hamad has been thrown back in the hot seat for hiring a controversial deputy transport minister: Dominique Savoie.
Savoie lost her job when the issues at Transports Quebec became public; opposition MNAs have accused her of lying about what she knew.
Savoie has now found a job in the premier’s office, and Couillard defended both her and Hamad, arguing the problem is institutional.
“There’s also been a culture of information not circulating as freely as it should and obviously not reaching previous ministers, not only the current one, but previous ones as well, of all parties, by the way,” the Premier said.
He said the culture will change, but he’s not firing anyone.