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An inspection teams examines a collapsed overpass in Montreal on in October, 2006. A leaked government report has found widespread corruption in Quebec construction contracts.Ian Barrett/The Canadian Press

The head of the Quebec Transport Ministry's anti-collusion squad will appear before a National Assembly committee Tuesday to explain the details of a damning report that outlines a "clandestine universe" of corruption and mafia infiltration in the province's construction industry.

But first Jacques Duchesneau will meet with Transport Minister Pierre Moreau to set the parameters of his highly anticipated testimony.

"I've asked to sit down with him on Friday to see the best procedures that should be put into place," Mr. Moreau said in the National Assembly.

Opposition members fear that the government will attempt to muzzle Mr. Duchesneau before he appears before the committee. The opposition expressed concerns that Mr. Duchesneau will be ordered to avoid talking about specific incidents that may harm ongoing police investigations into allegations of fraud, intimidation and bid-rigging schemes by construction companies and engineering firms.

"The meeting should be delayed until after Mr. Duchesneau appears before the committee, to ensure the appearance of transparency," said Parti Québécois member and committee chairman Sylvain Simard.

The opposition contends that the report outlines "a serious political crisis" and is eager to unravel links between the awarding of government road-building contracts and the financing of political parties.

Mr. Duchesneau appears to have every intention of speaking out on the issues raised in his report, which has been leaked to a few media outlets but not formally released by the government.

"The situation is much more serious than we think," Mr. Duchesneau said in a brief interview with the Montreal daily Le Devoir. "I won't mince words. What will happen, will happen."

The former head of the Montreal police, Mr. Duchesneau was appointed to lead the special anti-collusion squad in February of 2010. His investigation reportedly found numerous flaws in the awarding of government road-construction contracts worth more than $16-billion over the past five years.

One of the schemes mentioned reportedly involved "extras" incurred during construction projects. The gambit involved construction companies entering low bids and obtaining contracts with the knowledge that there would be cost overruns to allow for an increase in profits. The cost overruns were deliberately fabricated and accepted with little or no protest by Transport Ministry officials, according to reports.

Using Access to Information laws, the PQ said it has obtained figures showing millions of dollars in cost overruns involving engineering firms who were hired to plan and oversee the execution of several road-construction projects.

In one instance, a construction company with close ties to the Liberals was awarded an $8.8-million contract to repair a bridge and was granted an "extra" $1.7-million to cover cost overruns.

"What guarantees can the Minister give the population that this contract doesn't represent a situation denounced by the anti-collusion squad," asked opposition transport critic Nicolas Girard.

Based on documents obtained from the Transport Ministry, the PQ estimated that on 117 road projects undertaken between May 2010 and June 2011, cost-overruns amounted to $83-million, or a 26-per-cent increase in construction costs.

The opposition parties have been calling for a public inquiry into the construction industry for the past 30 months, to no avail. Another motion calling for an inquiry was tabled again on Wednesday but was once again opposed by the Liberal government.

Premier Jean Charest argued that his government's efforts at attacking corruption through police investigations will produce results and place criminals behind bars.

"Quebeckers can rest assured that government is acting with determination," Mr. Charest said in the National Assembly. " And we are convinced that this is the real way of getting at the root of the problem."

Public opinion polls have shown that only one in five Quebeckers support the government's handling of the corruption issue. The majority support a public inquiry.