Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Businessman Giuseppe Borsellino testifies at the Charbonneau inquiry looking into corruption in the Quebec construction industry Tuesday, February 5, 2013 in Montreal.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Quebec's corruption inquiry has shifted focus from Montreal city hall and shady real estate deals to the links between construction and union bosses.

Joe Borsellino, the head of Garnier Construction, testified at the Charbonneau inquiry about the generous gifts he showered upon Jocelyn Dupuis, the former head of one of Quebec's most powerful unions, the FTQ-Construction.

Mr. Borsellino bought Mr. Dupuis a trip to Italy and hockey tickets and gave Mr. Dupuis unfettered use of a luxury condominium for nearly three years in a building known for housing well-heeled Montrealers alongside mobsters and biker gang members.

Story continues below advertisement

The construction boss insisted he showered Mr. Dupuis with gifts because they were friends – not in return for securing lucrative contracts using his union contacts, as counsel for the inquiry suggested. Later, he admitted Mr. Dupuis's job, from which he was fired in 2008, played some part.

"He's a friend, but it was also because he was at the union," Mr. Borsellino said. "But I didn't close the door just because he left the union."

At the beginning of his testimony, Mr. Borsellino maintained he only spoke to Mr. Dupuis about business one time. Yet the inquiry produced several wiretap conversations taken from a police investigation between the two men where they discussed at least a half-dozen projects. In one excerpt recorded in 2008, Mr. Dupuis assures Mr. Borsellino he will get a project over his rival construction magnate Tony Accurso.

In his testimony Tuesday, the construction boss repeatedly said he could not recall details and specifics. He adamantly denied his relationship with Mr. Dupuis ever led to him receiving public contracts. "We discussed things but it never turned into anything," he said.

Mr. Borsellino went further, suggesting Mr. Dupuis was something of a moocher.

"With all respect, Mr. Dupuis was close to me and perhaps was taking advantage of that situation. I'm a good guy, I let it go," Mr. Borsellino said. "He was no longer with the FTQ-Construction. He was a citizen without a job."

By 2009, Mr. Borsellino said he started to ease off on the gifts for Mr. Dupuis. It was also about the time a new anti-corruption police unit started investigating collusion in the construction industry. Several players have testified the system fell apart a short time later.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies