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Robert Dutrisac August 10, 2012
Still outraged by the CBC report on the tailing of Eddy Brandone in which he is mentioned, Jean Charest has suggested it sought to undermine his campaign.
“We say the timing was chosen. We are in an election campaign.” stated Jean Charest to the press yesterday morning. In addition to criticizing the work of the journalists as he had done the day before, he went after “those who direct Radio Canada and made the decision” to broadcast this story.
By contrast, the assumption that the federal establishment persuaded him to make the jump into Quebec politics in 1998 released today to throw his attention to François Legault appears to him as a “great conspiracy theory.”
Jean Charest does not intend to let this case distract him from the electoral campaign. That’s why he will not formally address the CBC and will not complain to his ombudsman. “There is nothing excluded, but I’m not in there.” he said.
On the other hand, Jean Charest repeated that he never intervened in the police investigations and, therefore, that Québec Provincial Police (QPP) stop tailing the former treasurer of FTQ-Construction, Brandone Eddy, a liberal activist he knew during the time when he was a candidate for leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1993. In the story, it was learned that the QPP stopped tailing Brandone a few minutes after he had spoken with Jean Charest at an official event in March 2009.
“I have a clear conscience, and I don’t think it’s the same thing at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.” he asserted.
Is it worrying that someone who has ties to the underworld could easily meet the Premier of Quebec? “People are able to announce things. Lives are made public, we meet thousands of people,” he argued. The entourage of the Premier did nothing wrong. “The laxity is not with us, it is at the CBC on the rules of ethical journalism,” he said. However, it has happened that the QPP gave him warnings on certain individuals, he acknowledged, but “rarely”.
In a press meeting yesterday, François Legault said he was “troubled” by the report and asked for further explanation on the part of Jean Charest. “We must go farther than this to know who has given the order.” assessed the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ).
He stated that “it is not completely an accident” that monitoring has stopped after a meeting with the Premier, but François Legault believes that we must “trust” the liberal leader, who claims not to have intervened in the work of the Quebec Police.
The idea to go after journalists is a bad sign, according to the leader of the CAQ. “When a politician begins to attack the journalists, it is because it is the beginning of the end.”
As for Pauline Marois, she was skeptical of the explanations of Jean Charest, yesterday, in Saguenay. Wednesday, the first night the report aired, she had asserted that this was another “Liberal Scandal”. Yesterday she suggested “ It has the smell of scandal.”
For the Professional Federation of Quebec Journalists (FPJQ), it is not up to the Premier to dictate the media’s editorial choices. “It is precisely because Quebec is in an election campaign that the subject of the interrupted monitoring, on a long time acquaintance of Mr. Charest, is the concern of the public.” writes the FPJQ in its statement.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
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