Jacques Duchesneau, CAQ candidate makes a point during a press conference in St. Jerome, Quebec on Saturday, August 4, 2012.
Credits: DIDIER DEBUSSCHERE/JOURNAL DE QUEBEC/QMI AGENCY
MONTREAL - He might not be a big name in the rest of Canada, but in Quebec, Jacques Duchesneau is huge.
He received quasi star status after his report on corruption in the province forced Quebec Premier Jean Charest to call a public inquiry into the construction industry.
And now the former head of the province's anti-collusion squad has formally announced his candidacy Sunday morning in Quebec's upcoming provincial elections.
He will run in a riding north of Montreal with the upstart Coalition Avenir Quebec, a right-of-centre party formed a few months ago and which is polling behind the governing Liberals and separatist Parti Quebecois.
Duchesneau told reporters Sunday morning that he decided to enter politics to "finish what he started" after he leaked his report on corruption to the press.
CAQ Leader Francois Legault said that with the addition of Duchesneau, his party is the only one capable of tackling corruption in Quebec. Legault has put a lot of political capital on Duchesneau. He said Sunday he will name Duchesneau as vice-president of the party if it wins the election on Sept. 4.
Duchesneau was a star witness at the construction inquiry, which is on summer hiatus and resumes in mid-September.
He told the inquiry in June that 70% of the financing of Quebec political parties comes from dirty money. He did not offer any proof of his allegations, however.
He said Sunday that he reviewed the CAQ's finances and said he was satisfied that the party is clean.
However, Duchesneau admitted that his colourful character might pose problems for the party.
"I am passionate," he said. "I have to learn that in politics we have to hold back sometimes in term of saying things ... but I want (change) to happen."
Premier Charest told QMI Agency that he was not worried about Duchesneau's entry into politics.
He said it was "false" that members of the Liberal party were concerned about Duchesneau entering the race.