Charbonneau: 'God' takes the stand

Jean Lavallée.

The Charbonneau commission heard Thursday from Jean Lavallée, the founder and former leader of the FTQ-Construction union, which has been at the center of much of the recent testimony at the commission's hearings.

The 73-year-old Lavallée was referred to as a "god" by Guy Gionet — the former head of the FTQ Solidarity Fund's real estate arm, who ended his testimony Thursday — because of the influence he had over the union organization.

His time on the stand was brief — just over an hour — and during that time he basically read out his résumé. An electrician by trade, he founded the FTQ-Construction union in 1981 and served as its president until 2008.

He returns to the stand when the hearings resume on Monday.

This past week, Gionet described, among other things, the extent to which controversial construction boss Tony Accurso held sway over SOLIM, the organization Gionet headed from 2004 to 2009.

Lavallée, meantime, told the commission that he has always had the best interests of workers at heart, and wasn't out for personal gain, as others have suggested.

"They've [attacked] me so much during this commission. If I was God, I would have done things differently."

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  1. Drew posted on 01/16/2014 06:07 PM
    Why are we wasting the tax payers money on this commission? No one has gone to jail nobody has paid anyone back and we know there is corruption Tell me something I do not know
  2. JayK posted on 01/17/2014 07:45 AM
    Drew, how would this all come to light without the commission? How would we expose the inner workings? It's been known since day 1 that testimony would be exempt from prosecution.

    So we say there's corruption, but we just go along with it? This commission might not wrap everything up neatly like a 22 minute sitcom but at least we can start to peel away some layers and get a look at whats been happening. The best way to avoid future problems is to study the past. C'mon.
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