The National Assembly of Quebec adopted liberal government’s bill 107. This bill gives more powers to the anti-corruption unit of the state (UPAC). The bill was passed on Wednesday with 61 votes against 49. The liberal MNAs voted in support of the bill, whereas the opposition parties were against it.
The new bill gives UPAC the recognition as specialized force and also more jurisdictions for investigating corruption and conspiracy cases. Martin Coiteux, the Public Security Minister, said that UPAC will use the same tools as other sections of the police and have the same obligation for the law enforcement.
In the past few months, the UPAC has remained a source of scandal as some important information regarding sensitive cases was leaked by the media. The unit also received heavy criticism when it failed to charge the liberal MNA Guy Ouellette after the arrest in October last year.
The bill was submitted in the assembly after these scandals.
Coiteux is of opinion that though the bill won’t fix UPAC overnight, the bill is a right step in the correct direction. He believes that the bill contains the key ingredients needed to improve the condition.
UPAC now has the power to investigate corruption cases at the administrative level of the justice system. It also can investigate cases involving granting rights and privileges. This bill will be a great step in the fight against corruption.