In reaction, Jean-François Lisée wrote an articulate piece challenging the magazine's journalistic integrity:
I have a great idea for a Maclean's cover. Picture a Bonhomme Carnaval with a halo. No, better yet, a crowd of such Bonhommes as far as the eye can see. The title: Quebecers: Canada's resilient corruption-busters.
The story would go like this. Eliot Ness-type figures battling corruption are a staple of Quebec culture. It seems to be in the national Quebec genome to rise up against graft and sleaze. Not that they haven't been duped. In the forties, they loved Maurice Duplessis because he denounced and ridiculed the corruption of the preceding Liberal government. But he then became as a great corrupter himself. In the 1950s, they turned to the incorruptible inspector Pax Plante and crusader Jean Drapeau, who cleaned-up Montreal's Mob and brothels with a vengeance. Drapeau became a hero, then an autocratic, visionary, and at times inept—but never corrupt—mayor. In the 1960s, the new white knight was René Lévesque, who championed procurement reform in a Liberal "équipe du tonnerre" that equipped Quebec for the modern world. The decade nearly was scandal-free. In the early 1970s collusion between a mob-related union, the FTQ-Construction, and the Quebec Liberal government saw the rise of new corruption-busters in a commission that was followed more closely than hockey night. Brian Mulroney and Lucien Bouchard's careers take their roots in this largely successful cleansing effort."
But the population isn't duped. A poll by Léger Marketing [Google translation] conducted in the days that followed the announcement reveals that 68% of the Québécois are not satisfied with the proposed format. An overwhelming majority of respondents (86%) are dissatisfied that witnesses cannot be subpoenaed.
Note the situation. Popular support to expose corruption through a public inquiry is roughly at 80%, but the staunchest federalist Premier the province ever had behaves as if he doesn't want one. Shouldn't Maclean's write a follow-up story on its conclusions?