Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quebec Towns Swimming in Cesspool of Corruption

If Quebeckers thought political corruption was limited to the Quebec Liberal Party and a few rotten apples in the city of Montreal, revelations last week showed just how badly the provinces' city and towns reek from the pervasive stench of corruption.

It would now appear that Maclean's magazine got it wrong about Quebec being the most corrupt province in Canada.
If the evidence presented last week in the Montreal's Journal de Montreal and Radio Canada's 'Enquete' is true, it's likely that Quebec is the most corrupt state/province in North America!

In a  blockbuster exposé, the newspaper and the investigative television show identified more disturbing  acts of corruption across the length and breadth of the province, in municipality after municipality.

Birds of a Feather- Mayors Robitaille & Marcotte
Two towns in particular, Mascouche and Terrebonne, were so rocked by allegations that angry citizens marched on town council meetings in a mob-like scene demanding that their respective mayors and their elected teams resign!
So frightened was, Jean-Marc Robitaille, Mayor of Terrebonne and Mascouche mayor  Richard Marcotte, that they didn't show up and announced that they were temporarily stepping down pending an investigation.
The allegations against Marcotte were pretty brutal including:

  • a demand for a free house from a contractor
  • Extorting a 5% commission on building projects for his party's political funds
  • Buying condos from developers for under market value and then flipping them back to the same builder
As for  Terrebonne's mayor Jean-Marc Robitaille, he's in hot water over the sale of city property to a friend and political collaborator in which the properties were resold for nine times as much as they were bought from the city, for a profit of over a million dollars. One of the parcels was resold the same day that it was purchased, for a profit of $144,000!
About his relationship with Tony Accurso, the Montreal construction tycoon, at the center of several corruption scandals, the mayor was unequivocal. Asked if he ever vacationed aboard Mr. Accurso's infamous yacht, the mayor issued a forceful "NO COMMENT.'

The stink doesn't end in these two municipalities, another television exposé, this time targeting the city of Sagenauy over wasteful lawsuits and assorted conflicts, got it's feisty mayor Jean Tremblay in a lather. Defending himself and his city, he responded that it isn't up to Montrealers to make judgments about his administration, a priceless deflection! 

The mayor, by the way, has a penchant for expensive lawsuits and to date has invested over seven million dollars of city money in dubious litigation, including defending the city practice of praying to Jesus before council meetings. 

Disinterested Quebeckers choose over half its mayors and councillors by acclamation. Towns and cities across the province are run as private fiefdoms with the mayor and council running roughshod over the limited opposition that there is.
This leads to corruption, nepotism, favouritism, practices that are rampant with the few controls in place, easily ignored or sidestepped. 

One example of the abuse is the widespread practice of breaking up large contracts into many 'mini' contracts to stay under the $25,000 threshold, at which tenders are required by law.
The city of Laval recently placed a huge contract into the hands of a PPP, controlled by a city official, which effectively removed the power of oversight from opposition councillors. The mayor of Lachute is now under the gun for giving out untendered contracts.

The list of transgressions goes on and on and on........

The investigative stories on television have exposed a level of corruption that would scare the Italian Guardia di finanzia, the corruption police that battles the Mafia. 
It seems that in Quebec, to find corruption, one only has to look and not very hard at that.
The real problem remains with the lack of opposition to ruling cliques. 

Don't think that this is a 'French' only problem, respect for democracy is equally missing in Anglo towns such as the tiny rich Anglo preserve of Hampstead, where mayor William Steinberg has taken to excluding the lone opposition member from city business by holding meetings in private. Shame!

Last year, Quebec City's mayor, Regis Lebaume ripped into the city of Montreal for its corruption that has, in his opinion, left a stain on all municipal administrations.
Now Lebaume dropped another bombshell, by withdrawing his city from l'Union des municipalités du Québec, an association of Quebec municipalities, over his assertion that the organization lacked ethical respectability.
This was directly related to his strenuous objection of the election of Saint-Jérôme mayor Marc Gascon as president of the organization.
Mired in ethical investigations over campaign financing and dubious municipal contracts, the Laurentian mayor brazened it out, with the support of the association's administrators, who elected him unanimously.
It was too much for Lebaume who declared that it would be impossible for the city of Quebec to allow a mayor under a cloud of suspicion, speak in its name. LINK

The Premier announced that he will allow the municipalities to decide on their own package of integrity reforms, a policy akin to letting the fox guard the hen house.

It's clear that the situation is out of control.
The province needs a universal set of rules and a powerful independent anti-corruption police force.

The anti-collusion agency created by the premier and headed by Jacques Duchesneau is woefully underfunded at two million dollars and is restricted to government contracts at the Ministry of Transport.
At any rate, rumour has it that Duchesneau is on the outs with the Premier over some sort of alleged skeleton in his closet, that has recently started to rattle rather loudly.

Many years ago an executive at a record store chain (now defunct) told me a funny story about a detective agency that approached him with an offer to test the integrity of the employees handling the cash register in his stores. He asked the agency how they would go about finding dishonest employees and they told him that they'd enter the store and offer to pay for their 'purchase' in cash, a much  reduced price, which the cashier would pocket.
"That's it" he answered "Doesn't sound very impressive. Do you really think employees would cheat with a total stranger?" 
At any rate he gave the detective agency  a shot and low and behold the first day on the job, a detective called and said that one of the managers was caught in the sting.
Surprised the boss sent a supervisor to fire the employee and run the store temporarily. The next day the same thing happened again and the boss, already short with personnel, sent the regional supervisor to take over the store,
The third day, another store, another crook.

The exasperated boss told the agency to stop visiting his stores, he had no more personnel to take over!!

I guess if we want corruption in Quebec towns and cities to disappear, we need to order the newspapers and the television shows to stop investigating.

It seems like the the only way out......


  1. Mississauga Guy said...

    So the J de M runs a story and who's yelling at that rag for Quebec bashing? Seems what's good for the goose (a French Montreal rag, aka the J de M) isn't good for the gander (the English MacLean's, serving all of English speaking Canada). Fee fi fo fum I smell a double standard in Quebec! So what else is new?

    As for the corruption itself, quel surprise! Actually, it's aucun surprise!

    There is no perfection anywhere, but 89-year-old mayor Hazel McCallion, born in Port Daniel, QC, just got reelected for the 12th consecutive time in Mississauga last month, a Guinness world record! The allegations against her re a contract bid deal for her son has not yet proven true, and 76% of the voters defeated 16 opponents running for the job! Mississauga is still DEBT-FREE! What Quebec city, town, village, municipality or gopher hole can claim that?

  2. Corruption, fraud, adscam, money in brown paper envelopes, Taser killings,Anti- English language Racism, bigotry and hatred in Quebec a la bills 22, 178, 101…, contracts on napkins…

    RCMP, Mulroney, Chretien, Trudeau, politician after politician testifying before a committee, in court… Costing the taxpayers millions in the process and of course lawyers laughing all the way to the bank.

    This goes on daily in Canada. Its front page news all the time and its all over the airwaves and television channels daily. What an embarrassment to all the informed thinking citizens of Canada.

    You in the media and in power should all be ashamed of yourselves. You have created the socialist cesspool this country has become over the last 4 decades. Of course you will all blame someone else but you had a job to report and tell the truth instead of spin, lies, and biased/partisan nonsense... the crap we read, listen to and watch every day. You know, the stuff you try to present as news.

    To think that some of you self-absorbed, narcissistic clowns in power and the media have the audacity to wonder why people are not voting any longer, why voter turnout goes down year after year… I mean are you all that brain-dead? Isn't it obvious?

    Viewership, listenership, and readership are down for many reasons in this country, but the main reason its down is people are just sick and tired of the same partisan spin and lies coming from all mainstream media.

    This is not the country our forefathers went to war over. This is not the country our forefathers built… It's a good thing they are not around to see the mess that we've become.

    Liberal, Tory same old story.

    Wake up people, wake up!!!

  3. Maybe theres' something in the water in Quebec?

    The Toronto guy.

  4. Yes, there I something in the water in Quebec. All the money we pissed away. Including money wasted on faulty water purification.

  5. But we can all feel smug that Bonhomme Carnaval isn't in on the corruption!

  6. I don't see why this blog shoud be nurtured by STUPID ONTARIANS. Quebec is NOT OF THEIR BUSINESS AT ALL!!!!!

  7. I live in Ontario now but I used to live in Quebec, so I am very familiar with the situation there. I still have friends and relatives that live in Quebec and they are being affected by the racist French bullshit that is occurring there. SO WHAT HAPPENS IN QUEBEC IS MY BUSINESS!

  8. And meanwhile, here I am with my husband and two kids, trying to scratch quarters to buy milk.... And I work!

  9. I used to have a high post in Quebec, I have also friends and family in Quebec. If Quebec wants their identity which is nickled and dimed by anglophones and will always be, it does affect me. If Anglophones could be quiet about it, there wouldn't be a fight, hey ? So you don't know what you are talking about. The Anglos deported the French, they burned them in their church, they stop them for having jobs of high quality (COmmission Gendron's report) they were subsurvant. NONE OF THAT PLEASE, ANYMNORE. SO STAY IN ONTARIO AND BE A GOOD BOY. SHUT UP.

  10. To Anon. at 6:37 AM:

    For someone who held a high post, your writing skills are pitiful. Do us a favor and write in French from now on if that will make you more comprehensible.


  12. @ Anon. at 6:37 AM:

    "I have also friends and family in Quebec."

    But your friends and family are not being oppressed by bigotted French language laws.

    "SHUT UP"

    You obviously don't believe in freedom of expression, like most other Quebecois. I won't shut up. Not while Quebec remains a part of Canada and my tax dollars are being used to support it. It is great that the terrible, racist conditions in Quebec are being exposed to the world on internet sites such as this.

  13. QUEBEC IS NOT PART OF CANADA. YOU ARE FEEDING A DELUSION (it is a fixed belief that is either false, fanciful, or derived from deception). Why ? as I said over and over before:
    because we have our land, our lakes, our languages, our own religion, our unique culture, our own economical system, our own and unique legal system, our schools and university, our flag and our nation is celebrated on June the 24th. Of course under the thumb of the English rose we are used to suffer, but we are growing slowly, solving our own problems internally, and hopefully we will be soon part of an European market. Your "big" cdn dollars you refer to, is not well at work when you are fighting us while feeding aliens and giving them the old age pension without their contribution after 10 years of living in Canada. You should be ashamed of your moral turpitude for expressing such calamities and shamefully nagging with your francophobic friends on this site.

  14. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO PROTECT OURSELVES, PROTECT OUR CHURCH, PROTECT OUR LANGUAGE. IT IS NOT RACIST AT ALL, NOT AT ALL. In fact, this was PASSED under The Quebec Act of 1774. (an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain setting procedures of governance in the Province of Quebec. One of principal component which you object to is the one The oath of allegiance was replaced with one that guaranteed free practice of the Catholic faith and restored the use of the French civil law. So if you want to attack Britain for The Quebec Act, go ahead. Next time, before you play Virgin Mary in Tears, check your facts nounoune.

  15. "Your "big" cdn dollars you refer to, is not well at work when you are fighting us while feeding aliens and giving them the old age pension without their contribution after 10 years of living in Canada."

    So you're not only an anti-English bitch, but a xenophobic anti-immigrant bitch as well.

    If you're so rich, then take a look at the name of the country that appears on your tons of money.

    Our 'big' Cdn dollars (8.5 billion per year) are supporting your bankrupt PROVINCE of Quebec and the French language across Canada (via the Official Languages Act).

  16. Dear Anglo Basher:
    I am simply exposing facts, facts and facts. I invite your mind to expand and get knowledge on theory, principals and philosophies. No, I expose the theory of social growth inside Canada. But then, tell me what is your country for you fellow English-speaker ? Anybody, Everybody? (Are you growing your English-speaking country for revenge against another one ? Hail Hitler !)

    Rememeber, this is not a racist topic at all, if you keep your temper on line. Again, try to be polite when you explain how do see the composites of English Canada and its expansion vis-â-vis immigration. This time I ask the question.

    If you want to comment on Quebec, do it on another paragraph,because it is another topic. Take into consideration the Quebec Act from Britain ruled in 1774 and try to make sense.
    PS. You are not a threat to our French society. You are simply afraid of us, because you don't know us. So please, and use your thinking cap.

  17. If English Canada was refused a seat on the ONU it isn't because of your calculus, but because of your francophobic reasoning.

  18. When the gloves are off, you can't it. It should be you only who insult, judge, threat, etc... coming back to the awful bankrupty of Quebec, tell me young man, who initiated the system? Why do you complain to us ? Can't you be a gentlemen about it rather than growing teeth in your rear end and confirm your francophobic diarrhea song?

  19. "If English Canada was refused a seat on the ONU it isn't because of your calculus, but because of your francophobic reasoning."

    What do you mean? Please elaborate.

  20. And now in Laval too :) Bunch of thieves running things, thank God MacLean's started all of this.


  22. My mother in law used to teach Neil Young. The bastard started a fire on a tree. Well Hugo, can't you make a complete sentence ? what do you mean ?