Minister to be grilled at hearing

Posted By: Angelica Montgomery · 11/21/2012 4:28:00 PM

The environment minister will likely be forced to testify in front of a National Assembly committee over allegations that he bullied a quasi-judicial tribunal.

A Quebec newspaper has reported that minister Daniel Breton, a former environmental activist, had told members of the environmental review board (the BAPE) that if he did not like their reports, he would call the chair.

Breton admits that a meeting took place, but denies that he intimidated the commissioners.

"The minister has never given a sufficient or concrete explanation of what happened," says environment critic Yolande James.

PQ can not stop the hearing

The Liberals have already called for the minister's resignation. Now, they have presented a motion that would force Breton to appear before a National Assembly committee and answer questions on the subject.

The Parti Quebecois is opposed to the idea, but it does not have enough seats in the assembly to block the vote, set to take place today at 5 pm.

Amir Khadir would do same

Liberals argue that Breton's alleged actions are equal to giving orders to a judge.

But, Quebec Solidaire says if the story surrounding Breton is true, it is merely a misstep and should not lead to a hearing.

"If I happened to become minister, I would not hesitate to call and remind the BAPE that it has to be independent, far from pressures of business and lobbyists," says Amir Khadir.

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