Longtime Parti Québécois stalwart Guy Chevrette took the stand at the Charbonneau Commission Thursday to begin his long-awaited testimony.
Chevrette is the first former cabinet minister to take the stand at the Commission's hearings, serving as transport minister between 1998 and 2002 — the period the commissioners will be interested in discussing.
After rattling off a list of his decades-long career, he quickly attacked a former transport official, Mario Turcotte, who was on the stand Wednesday.
A decade ago, Turcotte was the transport ministry's regional director for the Laurentians-Lanaudiere regions. He accused his former boss of political inference in the building of a little-used road between two remote Laurentian towns east of Mont-Tremblant more than a decade ago.
Turcotte insisted the road wasn't necessary, and that Chevrette wanted it built anyway.
Chevrette told the Commission he couldn't understand why Turcotte didn't tell him as both the minister, and as his MNA for Joliette, that the road wasn't necessary back in 2001.
Chevrette had been anxious to come on the stand and clear his name against allegations about political favours, cash payments and influence peddling made by former political organizer, Gilles Cloutier — who he denounced as a "liar" on the stand.
Meanwhile, another former Liberal transport minister, Julie Boulet, has also been subpoenaed by the commission. She could go up as early as next week.
Also, the commission's lawyers want to meet with current CAQ leader Francois Legault — who says he was told they want to meet with every former premier and party leader of the past decade or so.