Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jacques Duchesneau Takes Revenge!

For years and years, decades and decades, Quebec has been saddled with the worst sort of public officials imaginable, corrupt, self-serving, destructively separatist or worse still, utterly incompetent.  These dreamers, bandits and fools have led Quebec down the garden path of mediocrity and without some steadying influence and an open cheque book from Ottawa, one shudders to think where the province would be today.

It isn't any wonder that in Quebec, the only profession that ranks lower than politicians in public trust, is the utterly despised used car salesmen. Ugh...

Many years ago, I was summoned, along with two other colleagues, to an early breakfast at the Delta hotel to meet with Jacques Duchesneau over some charity business, the subject of which, I can't actually recall.
What I do remember is that of the four seated at the table, only Jacques, resplendent in his Chief's uniform, was within his 5BX target weight zone.
And so it was a bit embarrassing when we all ordered to make an impression,...fruit, oatmeal or just coffee. Everyone, that is, except Jacques, who who ordered up a huge Quebecois breakfast of bacon and eggs.
No need to impress, no false pretense there. When you're the real McCoy, there's no need to put on airs!
That is Jacques Duchesneau, not a particularly complicated man, but honest, dogged, organized, disciplined, outrageously blunt and honest.

Now that Jacques is the flavour of the month, you don't need me to describe his career or upstanding nature, the newspapers, sensing the public mood,  are singing his praises, the hypocrites that they are.

In terms of quality, dedication and honesty, he is the antithesis of what we have come to expect from our public officials, but in typical Quebecois fashion, there are some voices that will try to tear him down.

Quebec has a long tradition of disdaining those who become rich, successful or famous and some journalists can't resist taking pot shots, including this story by Lysiane Gagnon who mocks Duchesneau as 'Mr. Clean.'

When, last November he was accused of being dishonest and was forced to temporarily step aside while the accusations were investigated, I told readers that the accusations were scurrilous and false.
Other than Yves Boisvert, who wrote a very supportive article in LaPresse there wasn't a mainstream journalist I can recall, who defended Duchesneau as bravely;

"I followed much of the career of Jacques Duchesneau, the policeman and briefly, the politician. He is a righteous man who spent his entire career in the fight against organized crime in the police. He is the first who dared to speak out publicly about the cartel of entrepreneurs who share the contracts with the City of Montreal."
This is what I wrote at the time;
"And so I was deeply saddened to see the picture of Jacques Duchesneau featured amid a rogues gallery on the front page of the Journal de Montreal last week.

Adding his name to the list was a cruel act, unworthy of a reputable newspaper. But of course, it was Le Journal de Montreal, where the truth never gets in the way of a good story.

It is a case of over-reaching on a monumental scale, because Jacques Duchesneau is not a crook." Read my post
When the Journal de Montreal pasted Duchesneau's picture up on the front page in a rogues gallery of alleged dirty politicians, it must have stung mightily.
Because no direct allegation was made, the newspaper could not be held for libellous defamation even though Duchesneau was absolved. But until recent events completely cleared his name, the stain on his reputation was  just as real as if he was convicted of corruption.

So here's where things get interesting.....

Last week Duchesneau went on a French talk show and made the allegation that some members of the Press were trying to 'get him' by publishing false allegations fed to them by those who want the corruption investigation shut down.
It wasn't a bombshell type of pronouncement because Duchesneau didn't name names, but last Friday, in an interview with Michèle Ouimet  of LaPresse  that all changed, when he did name those he felt were doing the bidding of others, trying to bring him and his investigation down.

And so he named Paul Larocque, Jean Lapierre (the ex-politician/reporter,) Andrew McIntosh. TVA, Le Journal de Montreal, QMI Agency.
Jean Lapierre had not worked on the story about the alleged election scandal but had reported that Duchesneau had played golf recently with Francois Legault, intimating that Duchesneau had political aspirations. That story turned out to be false.

The events that are unfolding eerily parallel  the story line in one of my favourite movies, ABSENCE OF MALICE, released over thirty years ago.

In that movie Michael Gallagher (played by Paul Newman) is the son of a dead Mafia boss who runs an honest business in South Florida. An aggressive US Attorney, unable to solve a murder, leaks a false story to a reporter (Sally Field) that Gallagher is a target of the murder investigation, hoping that he will cooperate in return for protection. The fallout is devastating and someone close to Gallagher  kills herself.
The reporter realizes the story she wrote was false but is assured that she cannot be sued. Gallagher plots revenge by leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that the reporter follows indicating corruption among those that hurt him.
In the end the accusations are proved false again, but this time, the careers of the District Attorney, the reporter and the US Attorney are destroyed in the fallout. Sweet revenge!

Watch this interesting clip from the movie where the reporter is given a lesson on how to destroy someone in print by making false accusation while avoiding legal repercussions.

And so Jacques Duchesneau has decided, like the Paul Newman character in Absence of Malice to  return the favour to those that hurt his reputation.

The reporters have had the tables turned on them rather neatly, now accused in public of something they probably never did (work to discredit Duchesneau's corruption investigation)

Those named by Duchesneau are squealing like stuck pigs and cease and desist letters have been sent warning the ex-Chief to stop making these accusations.

The reporters are now in the unfamiliar position of being the target of newspaper stories, not the instigators.
Andrew McIntosh, one of those named, defended himself. "Our investigation began before Mr. Duchesneau was appointed head of his unit. We do our job seriously. "

Mr. McIntosh should be careful what he says, he may have to justify his statement later on in court. Does he expect us to believe that the story he wrote was developing before Mr. Duchesneau's appointment?
How long before? Thirteen years?.. Five Years?.. Two Years?  
Is it really likely that the story came together now after lying dormant for so many years?
For reporters used to asking tough questions, answering them may not be so easy.

But the accusation itself, true or false is what will be damaging to the journalists, just like their false allegations were damaging to Mr. Duchesneau and as Shakespeare wrote, there's the rub.

The reporters involved may sue, but they'll have an uphill task in getting satisfaction. Mr. Duchesneau can make a pretty good primae facie case that the reporters tried to hurt his reputation.
Mr. Duchesneau will argue that the allegations made in the newspapers were false and they were made over an alleged transgression dating back thirteen years. The thrust and timing of the story has the look and the feel of a crude stitch up.
Without contradictory evidence offered by the journalists, Mr. Duchesneau's case will probably carry.

In fact the only way to prove that the case against them false, is to produce the source of the story, something that is extremely unlikely because it breaks journalistic ethics as well as the fact that the source would be putting himself in jeopardy by testifying.

In any case, any victory won by the journalists would be Pyrrhic in nature, the trial would just
expose the journos to prolonged public exposure of the accusations!

Like a pedophile acquitted after a long public trial, the damage to one's reputation is already done.  

For Duchesneau, revenge is sweet, for the reporters involved, payback's a bitch.


  1. La liberté du Québec
    Pierre Graveline

    Pour la nation québécoise — aujourd’hui confrontée aux brutales et incontestables réalités de l’anglicisation de sa métropole, de son affaiblissement politique au sein du Canada, de la volonté de la nation canadienne de construire son identité sur le dogme du multiculturalisme et de se développer en faisant fi des intérêts et des aspirations du Québec, du défaitisme contagieux de ses élites, de l’isolement international de l’État québécois et de sa marginalisation dans la mondialisation en cours — le statu quo politique est porteur de tous les dangers. Seule la réalisation de son indépendance politique peut lui ouvrir les chemins de l’avenir.
    Mais ce n’est ni pour prendre une revanche sur notre passé ni en réaction à la nation canadienne que nous devons procla mer notre indépendance. C’est pour nous-mêmes, pour notre dignité, pour notre langue, notre culture et nos valeurs, pour défendre nos intérêts, pour réaliser nos aspirations, pour assumer nos responsabilités parmi les nations du monde et notre place dans l’histoire de l’humanité que nous devons le faire. C’est en somme, tout simplement, pour conquérir notre liberté.

    Né en 1952 à Verdun, Pierre Graveline a été journaliste, conseiller à l’information à la CSN, directeur des communications de la CEQ, chroniqueur au quotidien Le Devoir, éditeur et directeur général du groupe Ville-Marie Littérature, puis éditeur associé chez Fides. Il est aujourd’hui directeur général de la Fondation Lionel-Groulx et membre du comité de rédaction de la revue L’ Action nationale. Il est l’auteur de plusieurs ouvrages dont Une histoire de l’éducation au Québec (Bibliothèque québécoise, 2007), Les cent plus beaux poèmes québécois (Fides, 2007) et Une passion littéraire (Fides, 2009).

  2. "breakfast of bacon and eggs."

    Désolé de vous apprendre que c'est un déjeuner typiquement anglais.Une autre mauvaise habitude (culturelle) léguée par nos amis colonisateurs, les anglais.

    Images :

    Bon appétit!

  3. As it stands now, only Quebec based firms are allowed to submit bids in the government tendering process unlike in other jurisdictions. This is a major flaw and we've been paying inflated prices because of it. This is definitely something that should be addressed as we look to overhaul (yet again) the construction industry in Quebec.

  4. Having been out of Quebec as long as I have (let's say a generation), I must admit I don't know most of the cast of characters beyond the elected officials, so for the consumption of the anti-Toronto crowd, our Mississauga recently suffered a disappointing setback.

    Our mayor of Mississauga for 33 consecutive years, Quebec-born Hazel McCallion, has finally pulled a fast one quickly making a fallen idol of herself. A judge who spearheaded a commission looking into allegations of conflict of interest found the 90-year-old mayor indeed to be in a conflict of interest with respect to a land development deal that she promoted with her son standing to pocket at least $10 million.

    The commission that was created two years ago came up with this conclusion just two days ago. Our recent municipal election was last November and so you can be sure Mrs. McCallion knew full well how long it would take the conclusions to come to the fore given this will be her last term in office. She'll be almost 94 years old when she retires.

    In her defense, Mrs. McCallion claimed she had no knowledge her son was involved in the land deal, but as the judge concluded, she should have, and it's not as if she couldn't have found out the principals involved through due diligence.

    I must confess, I'm very disappointed with these findings, but when it's all said and done, I'm not overly surprised. She has never been accused of anything of this nature, and where so, nothing has stuck that I know of. Because there are no conflict of interest guidelines set by the Mississauga government, Mrs. McCallion will not suffer any sanctions. The judge did state she broke common law and her irresponsibility lacked common sense.

    I'm very skeptical she didn't "know" her son had a hand in the deal, but of course this is something that is virtually impossible to prove unless there are documents to prove her knowledge, but again, unlikely and difficult to prove. Either way, she has nothing to lose because she already declared this is her last term in office so there will be no voters' retribution later.

    It's very sad, however, considering prior to imbruing her reputation with this result, she ran the city's finances quite prudently, with no long-term debt to saddle the taxpayer. Our roads are properly maintained, structures sound and respectable services. The last time I saw the salaries of the mayors in Toronto and the surrounding municipalities, hers was, I believe, the second lowest out of over two dozen mayors, maybe three. Pretty reasonable for North America's largest suburb. Perhaps she considered this her just reward for an otherwise well-run city. I just hope no ugly secrets come out after she leaves, but sadly self-interest always seems to be behind the politician.

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  6. The lack of trust towards law enforcement seem pretty normal; after all, they are but an extension of our government, used to collect taxes (tickets).

    To be honnest, I'd rather keep our current (possibly corrupt) government, rather than face Pauline Marois and her little group of racists running things.

    Healthcare, education, infrastructures.. All still in terrible shape from the PQ being in power from 1994 to 2003. At least now, money is going on more important things than language laws and referendums.

    - Quebecker of Tree Stump

  7. @Editor: What's with the pro-separatist propaganda as a first comment to this post? Are you supporting and the FLQ now? :P

  8. @ Press 9: les œufs sont excellents pour la santé tu devrais en manger plus.

  9. @ Press 9:

    "breakfast of bacon and eggs."

    "Désolé de vous apprendre que c'est un déjeuner typiquement anglais.Une autre mauvaise habitude (culturelle) léguée par nos amis colonisateurs, les anglais"

    The Quebecois are colonizers themselves, you hypocrite. They love their bacon and eggs for breakfast, along with heaps of sweet maple syrup with beans and pancakes and fatty pork spread (cretons). Then they have that unique Quebecois invention - poutine - for lunch or supper.

  10. @ Anonymous,

    "What's with the pro-separatist propaganda as a first comment to this post?"

    This separatist fool copied and pasted the same statement on the Sept. 30 thread. Apparently he doesn't have the intelligence or creativity to post his own comments, so he plagiarizes someone else.

    It is noted that Pierre Graveline was born in Verdun, which is a tough, working class neighbourhood with a significant Anglophone population. Mr. Graveline was probably beaten up in his youth by Anglos, so he must have a chip on his shoulder (like so many other separatists).

  11. Mr. Graveline was probably beaten up in his youth by Anglos, so he must have a chip on his shoulder (like so many other separatists).

    I doubt it. Can you name any recent examples of english on french violence (that weren't made up by Kevin Parent)? The french are much, much more likely to use violence for their cause (we have seen this historically, as they have committed murder for their cause)

    Most of the separatists who hate english people have no real reason, it's usually one of the following:

    - They are going off what their parents and grandparents told them, and don't want to see beyond that. They still think english people run everything and are trying to assimilate them. "On va les avoir les maudits anglais"

    - They are jealous that people who can speak english (the language of international business) have so many more opportunities than they do. They are also not used to working for what they want (bien-aide social), so they think it's unfair that they don't know english.

    - They are generally upset that the most exciting part of their lives is what they had for dinner the previous night.

  12. Press 9 tellement vrai que MacDonalds au quebec est le seul au mojnde a offrir 2 oeuf bacon au dejeuner, ouais vraiment juste anglo... maudit nul va!

  13. Press 9,

    So you are saying that eggs and bacon breakfast is an English tradition? Strange, I could have sworn that in all cabane a sucre that I have visited, they served PLENTY of bacon and eggs. Guess that the food in cabane a sucre is also English invention, eh?

  14. A new Champlain toll bridge is to be constructed by the Feds. The tendering process MUST be pan Canadian in scope and not limited to Quebec companies only. I've had it with these Quebecois construction companies stealing taxpayer money!

  15. I hope the road signs on the new Champlain bridge will be bilingual. Quebec government might try to sign the whole thing French only.

  16. I hope the road signs on the new Champlain bridge will be bilingual. Quebec government might try to sign the whole thing French only.

    I'm sure they are already looking for something new to complain about on vigile.
    In fact, if you check out Patrick Lagacé's blog on cyberpresse, he's already complaining about the new bridge's future name. IT BETTER NOT HAVE ENGLISH IN IT!

    I propose:
    "Le Pont Jean-Guy Du St-Sacrement De Crisse"

    Anyone else have any good ideas for names?

  17. James Wolfe Bridge or Jeffery Amherst Bridge.

  18. Le pont des Canadiens-anglais/Half-American Bridge.

  19. Anonymous at 07:53,

    You do not have to hope, the signs on the new bridge WILL BE bilingual. Since the Feds own the bridge, signs there MUST BE bilingual, just as it is on the Champlain and Cartier bridges.

  20. @ troy,

    Ya something so petty as street and road signs being bilingual shouldn't rile people up, but each time I drive on the Champlain or Jauques cartier bridge and see the old road signs, reminds me of how Quebec was until mid 70s. Kind of nostalgic. Just like the white street name signs in the City Of montreal. There are quite a few that were either missed and not covered up or the white stickers covering their names have ripped off.

  21. Le pont Pepsi Bridge
    Le pont Poutine Bridge
    Le pont Grenouilles Bridge

  22. What about...

    Pont Ken-Dryden
    Pont Kent-Nagano
    Pont Anthony-Calvillo

    I challenge anyone who can give me pure lainers that can match their achievements.

  23. Pont Pierre-Karl Péladeau.

    Oh but wait, even if you're 100% french, you're not accepted if you have money, you're an evil exploiter of poor, innocent, unionized workers.

    So scratch that.

    "C'est vrai, c'est vrai qu'on a été battus, au fond, par quoi? Par l'argent puis des votes ethniques, essentiellement."

  24. Duchesneau had no pilitical aspirations? Whose story is false, hein?

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