He might not be a big name in the rest of Canada, but Jacques Duchesneau is huge in Quebec.
He received quasi star status after his report on corruption in the province forced Quebec Premier Jean Charest to call a public inquiry into the construction industry.
And now the former head of the province's anti-collusion squad said on Sunday that he will run in the upcoming provincial election for the upstart third party in Quebec's legislature.
Duchesneau will run in a riding north of Montreal for the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), a right-of-centre party formed a few months ago which is polling roughly 10 points behind the governing Liberals and separatist Parti Quebecois.
Duchesneau told reporters Sunday morning that he decided to enter politics to "finish what he started" after he leaked his report on corruption to the press.
He said the province's public institutions are in a "developed state of deterioration with regards to morale and integrity."
CAQ Leader Francois Legault has put a lot of political capital behind his newest recruit.
Legault said if the CAQ wins on Sept. 4, he will make Duchesneau vice-president of the party and head of a committee on integrity.
The CAQ is trying to position itself as the only party that can give legitimacy to the province's public institutions, which have been sullied by accusations of corruption.
Duchesneau was a star witness at the construction inquiry, which is on summer hiatus and resumes in mid-September.
He told the inquiry in June that 70% of the financing of Quebec political parties comes from dirty money. He did not offer any proof, however.
He said Sunday that he reviewed the CAQ's finances and he was satisfied that the party is clean.
Duchesneau used to be Montreal police chief and before that, head of the force's narcotics squad.
John Westlake, a retired Montreal narcotics cop who worked under Duchesneau, told QMI Agency on Sunday that he was happy his old boss decided to run.
"He's a straight-forward guy; he never talked behind your back," Westlake said. "He was a good policeman and a good investigator. He supported me in all my drug investigations."
However, Westlake said that Duchesneau was "not a real politician" and would upset people with his style.
"(Duchesneau) puts all his cards on the table and there's no bullsh--ting around," he said.
Duchesneau admitted as much during Sunday news conference.
"I am passionate," he said. "I have to learn that in politics we have to hold back sometimes in term of saying things ... but I want (change) to happen."
Charest told reporters on Sunday that Duchesneau needs to prove his allegations.
Charest said that to make accusations about government institutions during an election campaign shows a "lack of responsibility."
"(Duchesneau) has the duty to go to the authorities (if he knows of wrongdoing) ... instead of launching accusations against everyone," Charest said.