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Premier Jean Charest speaks in Levis, Que., on May 9, 2011.Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Hundreds gathered in Montreal on Saturday to call on Quebec Premier Jean Charest to hold a public inquiry into the construction industry.

The protesters say a formal hearing would be the best way to root out corruption.

The Charest Liberals have been under intense pressure since a damning report was leaked to the media earlier this month.

The report says that construction companies, criminal groups and crooked civil servants conspired to drive up the price of public-works projects in Quebec.

The report says some of that money is then kicked over to political parties.

Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois has repeatedly called for a public inquiry, but Mr. Charest says the matter is best left to police.

Jacques Duchesneau, a former Montreal police chief and the author of the report, is set to appear before a legislature committee in Quebec City on Tuesday.