Monday, October 31, 2011

Firing Suited Jacques Duchesneau Just Fine

It's funny how stories sometimes play out in the Press, where a completely false take on events can sometimes become entrenched for no other reason than it is more convenient than the truth.

The media has a lot invested into the image of Jacques Duchesneau as a white knight in Quebec's ongoing construction scandal. The public, desperate to hear some good news, bought into the concept of Duchesneau as some sort of a lone wolf hero, battling the bad guys with the confidence, vim and vigour of Don Quixote.

So when he was 'fired,' the media and the public could accept no other theory than his betrayal was based on nothing less than the maleficence of those determined to derail his ongoing crusade against corruption, be it the government, the unions or the civil servants protecting their turf. Duchesneau fired
Very convenient... 

It's a good story, but much as I really like Jacques Duchesneau, it just isn't true.

What nobody in the media will dare say or print, is that Mr. Duchesneau engineered his own firing because he wasn't willing to give up his position as top dog.

When damaging accusations of corruption and mismanagement surfaced last year in regards to contracts issued by the Ministry of Transport (MTQ) (roadwork, bridges, infrastructure, etc.) and the alleged inappropriate chumminess that the department displayed with the engineering/consulting firms hired to manage these contracts, the Premier, under pressure, hired Mr. Duchesneau to put together an investigation team (Unité anti-collusion (UAC) of the ministère des Transports) to investigate if there actually was collusion between the Ministry, the engineering firms and those construction companies bidding on contracts.

The team put together by Mr. Duchesneau was a special one-off, two-year project, but when the province created a permanent anti-corruption agency a few months later in March, called the Unité permanente anticorruption or UPAC for short, which was patterned after New York City's Department of Investigation, Mr. Duchesneau's team (UAC) was slated to be absorbed within this new unit.

The announcement of this fusion didn't sit well with Duchesneau or members of his team, who were hired as independent consultants on a contract basis.
Joining the government's permanent UPAC agency meant that they'd all have to interview for a job with the new agency and if successful, become civil servants under direct employ of the government,

Almost all the members of Duchesneau's team were ex-police collecting lucrative pensions. If they took the job with the government, they'd be double-dipping, that is, collecting a government pension while employed by the government.
As well, most didn't want to give up their independence, preferring to work on contract rather than going back to become regular full-time employees. Most didn't even apply for the job.

The same goes for Mr. Duchesneau, who was working on a two-year, $200,000 plus consulting contract, while collecting a $100,000 plus pension from his time as police chief of Montreal. It was a rather convenient work arrangement wherein he could keep his pension as an independent consultant, but where going back to be a direct employee of the government meant double-dipping.

But more importantly, going to work for UPAC meant giving up being boss and working for the unit's director, Robert Lafrenière an ex-deputy Minister and veteran police officer of the Sûreté du Québec. (the Quebec version of the OPP)

I can't for a minute see Jacques working under anybody, let alone an ex-police officer, who although highly placed, ranked lower in the Sûreté du Québec, than Duchesneau did in the Montreal police.

Having rubbed shoulders with senior members of the Montreal police while Jacques was Chief, I can tell readers that the Sûreté du Québec is held in utter disdain by the Montreal police, considered a Sad Sack organization of second rate, country bumpkins.

The idea that Jacques, who has been top dog wherever he has worked over the last fifteen years, would be working under Mr. Lafrenière, someone who he considers his subordinate, could never happen.

Mr. Lafrenière, was rightfully furious with Duchesneau for going public about his investigation of the MTQ and for telling reporters that the job of director of UPAC should be held by an ex-judge, not an ex-police officer. It was to say the least, insubordination.

He called Duchesneau into a meeting where he meant to lay down the law and show Duchesneau who was boss, but it was not to be. Link

No doubt, a recalcitrant Duchesneau was unyielding, forcing the directors hand, hence the firing.

And so as fate would have it, Mr. Duchesneau is portrayed as a hero and Mr. Lafrenière a bum, such is the narrative decided upon by the Press who have everything to lose by telling the truth.


  1. Like I recently wrote in a recent blog, my late mother MSRIP told me when I lived in Quebec, dissing it rightfully every step of the way with my plans to leave Quebec after finishing my university degree at Concordia, there is no perfection anywhere, but compared to Ontario, Quebec is way off the mark!

    Compared to Quebec, the politics in Ontario is as boring as watching paint dry, and I'm very grateful for it. Too, the language police money we spend on fixing and repaving roads beats the s--t of what Quebec spends its money on.

    With any luck, Harper will butcher transfer payments to Quebec considering what losers and also rans govern Quebec. Why didn't the government just let the guy remain an independent contractor?

    If the Montreal Police call the SQ country bumpkins, that's pretty serious. Then again, they were also known as Duplessis's goons back in the day.

    Those bumpkins in the boondocks claim they don't speak English, so someone I know who was heading to Nova Scotia from Toronto got stopped, and while the cop was writing her a ticket for who knows what, she was saying to him in English what a slut his mother was and how she slept with every male in her town, all the while the cop's face was turning redder by the minute.

    Bunch of clowns--the SQ, the MTQ, the whole stinking lot. This coming Friday marks the 27th anniversary of my leaving Quebec for good, and this tidbit is another reinforcing reminder that I made the absolutely correct decision!

  2. Some rather amusing insight, Editor. I've watched events unfold over the last few days and wasn't convinced most of what I was watching was exactly as the media would have me believe.

    Thanks very much for filling in the gap.

    @Mr. Sauga: While I respect your choice for leaving, I've come to find your incessant grass-is-greener shtick overplayed. We certainly have more than our fair share colorful losers, has-beens, wannabes, clibers, scammers, bigots, and criminals sucking off the proverbial governmental and paragovernmental teats. I certainly resent much of it, especially given my tax bracket, but I find it difficult to believe that corruption, scandals, murders, and small-mindedness don't exist in your neck of the country (or elsewhere, for that matter).

    Had it been Gérald Tremblay and not Rob Ford who had gone apeshit on a 9-1-1 operator after seeing Marg Delahunty in his yard, you would be nodding in righteous smugness.

    Needless to say, when you're right, you're right. Proportional representation, taxation, and the Proulx-Cherry axis of evil - sure, whatever, no problem.

    But encouraging our atrophying separatist movement to come back with a vengeance isn't exactly helping those of us in this province who love and believe in Canada and are doing everything we can to show our formerly/soft separatist fellow citizens that unity is the answer and not vindictive divisiveness. I think our province and country have had enough of that.

    That's not what political conservatism is all about. Or maybe it is and you (ironically?) agree with hardcore separatists like Bernard Landry who would deplore the possible death of the PQ because it throws off kilter the "established" political balance of power the last 4 decades and ushers in a new and unknown playing field.

  3. @ Mr. Sauga:

    Speaking of Quebec's police force being the country bumpkins/hillbillies that they are, read (and watch!) this story that broke over the weekend. I seriously think it needs some exposure:

    Once again, Quebec leading the world in treatment of animals. Things like this coming out of Quebec sicken me to no end.

    And the same day no less they also opened fire on a 56 year old woman for no coming to a full stop at a Stop sign:

    Let's not forget about the homeless man shot dead for rummaging through garbage bags, and the man biking to work who got hit in the crossfire and also died.

    The best part is Quebec police investigate themselves. The ONLY district in North American where there is no outside investigation of the police. That's like a criminal judging himself. Welcome to Quebec, where everything you know is turned inside-out and upside down. "Backwards" doesn't begin to describe this place.

  4. Do you know what it takes to go up against these guys, by yourself? Duchesneau has a lot of balls. We need more like him.

    Way to go Robert Duchesneau!

    Anonymous is with you.

  5. Apparatchik:

    What Apple IIGS wrote.

    Ask me if I care Rob Ford went apeshit. I like to think he was concerned that his daughter was upset and he was trying to alleviate her apprehension.

    To make you feel better, an absolutely idiotic story was the news topper today. A stolen flatbed truck was chased by the OPP all over the highways from Toronto to London then towards Buffalo and back towards Toronto again. That ate up almost 15 minutes of the newscast. Didn't the media learn anything with O.J. back in '94? Maybe not!

    BTW, Apparatchik, I didn't get to vote for the Toronto mayor. I live in Mississauga, and Hazel did show her Quebec-born side feathering her son's nest with a $10 million land deal. Since she'll be almost 94 when her term ends, there will be no voter retribution - she's retiring believe it or not.

    If you're so unhappy with the b.s. in Quebec, what have you done to fight the government incompetence? Howard Galganov tried socio-political activism and faced as much ridicule in the English media as he did the French. Fools! You should have supported him, especially if you feel the injustice as your written words appear to do.

    As for me, it's a free country (outside Quebec anyway) and I'm going to exercise my democratic rights. Isn't that the purpose of these blogs? Besides, having lived on the other side of the fence for now a little over half my life, I've spent equal time on both sides of the fence and I like the shade of green where I sit, not to mention the lower taxes and well maintained infrastructure. Sure beats the s--t out of paying for a government department and its multibillion dollar budget devoted to language. If you want to stay and suffer, that's your choice. I made mine and I have no trouble telling the whole 7 billion people of Earth how right I am! So there!

  6. To Apple IIGS

    Don't worry... Unlike KKKEbec, the good Chinese who already rule this planet will make sure all animals and children are treaty with the utmost humanity.

    Have a NICE DAY Apple IIGS (made in China, by the way, like your own f#cking soul will be soon).

  7. To all proud Anglos, this may be the thing to come, you better learn if you want to keep making all that sweet cash. Don't be like the KKKebecers and learn:


    Now I KNOW WHY Howard Galganov has never really liked this man...

  9. @ anonymous 11:43pm

    I think Quebec (both its government and citizens) treats animals far worse than the Chinese. And now you're comparing Quebec with a communist country, isn't....oh wait, Quebec is bordering on communism with its laws, police force and interference in every aspect of people's lives.

    ps - On a tangent, the Apple IIGS was never made in China. It was produced in Singapore, Ireland, Australia, and the United States between 1986 to 1992. It is not a Macintosh either, it was part of the Apple II computer line (personally I feel it was the last good product that came out of the company). It was mistreated, ignored and pushed out of existence by its parent company....much like Anglophones in Quebec. :)

  10. @ Apple & Sauga

    Hard to take this blog seriously when it's most faithful posters are... full blown nuts.

    You people should start taking your meds!

  11. Anon @ 11:47PM:

    Your remark closely resembles thinking in the former USSR--y'know, that former communist evil empire.

    Their philosophy and opinion of political dissidents who held their communist system in contempt implied you were either a treasonist or you were emotionally disturbed.

    And what part of the USSR are you from, Anon?

  12. "And what part of the USSR are you from, Anon?"

    Yep, you should really start taking your meds.

    Watch out for the soviets hiding under your bed roflmao!

  13. @ Apple 11GS:

    "I think Quebec (both its government and citizens) treats animals far worse than the Chinese."

    I own a summer cottage near a small Quebecois town northwest of Montreal and this is what some of the local people do:

    - Shoot their dogs when they become sick or are no longer wanted.

    - Shoot squirrels that raid their bird feeders or trap them alive and then drown them.

    - Shoot birds of prey on sight.

    - Leave animals to freeze to death in traps along their traplines in the winter, and skin some trapped animals alive for fun.

  14. I might be too late to reply to this... Mr Sauga: Transfer payments to Quebec have been transformed in the RoC as a gift to Quebec...Like anglo-saxon would give away money...ya, right!!

    Transfer payments to Quebec are to compensate Quebec for every single programs under federal jurisdictions that are managed by the province. One such program? Public security. The west is policed by the RCMP..paid and managed by the Feds. Quebec is policed by the SQ, paid and managed by the province. We do not participate in the Canadian Pension Plan...and countless other programs. The feds never reajusted their level of taxation on quebec taxpayers. They are now compensating by transfering moneys through equalization. I understands it serves the RoC media as a propaganda tool..however, they are keeping you quite ignorant by telling you it is a gift...quite frankly, you look more like the fool than the educated one...

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