Historically, this dirty business of fixing contracts, has almost always been conducted behind closed doors, beyond public scrutiny and media purview. But backed into a corner by the courts and a clearly superior foreign bid, the Liberal government decided to brazen it out, the prize just too big to give away to outsiders.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the shameful betrayal of fair and free trade is the fact that the government knew it could count on the opposition to support its 'Quebec 1st' policy because in the end, Quebec politicians of every stripe believe in the same thing, which is fair trade when Quebec is advantaged and protectionism when it is not.
Even the conservative Action democratique and the ultra left wing Quebec solidaire parties voted with the Parti Quebecois and the government to unanimously pass a law that bypassed the tender process to reward another Quebec company, Bombardier, with an uncompetitive contract.
In fact, the very best excuse for voting for the bill came from our good friend Amir Khadir, who actually praised Bombardier,(usually a foil for separatists and leftists) as good corporate citizen who "respects our laws, the environment, pays its taxes and respects our language."
Karl Marx must be spinning in his grave.