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'Rambo' takes stand at corruption inquiry

The man known as "Rambo" is on the stand at Quebec's corruption inquiry and is saying his main goal as a union boss was to ensure that his workers were all able to have a job.

Bernard Gauthier's name has come up repeatedly in recent testimony as the Charbonneau Commission looks into threats and extortion on the province's North Shore.

The heavy-machinery operator has been described as a controlling figure who was not above advocating violence and intimidation to ensure local workers were hired.

A corruption inquiry investigator has described the North Shore region as a state within a state, with Gauthier and his lieutenants using intimidation and thuggery to maintain control.

Gauthier disputed some of those allegations today, telling the inquiry that work is hard to find in the far-flung region and that if collective agreements are strictly adhered to, it's to ensure everyone gets work.

The former Canadian Forces member is also explaining that his memorable nickname is not linked to his military service.

He says he came by it because he would spy on security at one of his first jobs in the early 1990s.

Gauthier says the "Rambo" name has been amplified by the media and that most people simply know him as Bernard or "Ti-Ben."

The Canadian Press

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