The 'deal' with Marois' husband resurfaces at Charbonneau

Former union boss Michel Arsenault is explaining his "deal'' with the husband of Quebec Premier Pauline Marois aimed at thwarting the calling of a public inquiry into corruption.

Arsenault says he had an idea in 2009 to speak to Claude Blanchet, Marois' husband, who had business dealings with the Quebec Federation of Labour's Solidarity Fund through a company he owned.

Arsenault told the Charbonneau Commission today he was simply "brainstorming'' with a fellow union executive in a 2009 wiretap and was seeking political alliances to support the federation's position that a inquiry was unnecessary.

He thought the business partnership with Blanchet could help them persuade Marois, who was leader of the Opposition at the time, to come out against the creation of an inquiry into corruption in the construction industry.

He said he ended up not calling Blanchet, who had been a director at the Solidarity Fund between 1983 and 1997.

Arsenault told the inquiry that a longtime political attache at the union told him a day after the wiretapped conversation it would be a terrible idea to get in touch with Blanchet.

Arsenault says he regrets ever bringing up the idea.

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  1. Joe posted on 01/29/2014 05:39 PM
    Looks like the same phone call that put the Chevrette issue under wraps has just been made to put the Blanchet issue under that same carpet.
    He says it was an idea in his head but this says different.....
    In a wiretap played Tuesday at the Charbonneau Commission in Montreal, two union executives were overheard talking in 2009 about applying pressure to the PQ to make sure no such inquiry took place.

    Then-union president Michel Arsenault reassures Jean Lavallee that they have a deal with "Blanchet,'' a reference to Marois' husband, Claude Blanchet, a former director at the labour federation's Solidarity Fund from 1983 to 1997.

    Where was the wiretap in his head also where this supposed idea took place......this whole commission is a he said-she said farce, end it and save the taxpayers the cash. Sometimes I even wonder how the commissioners keep a straight face.
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