Monday, November 15, 2010

The Godfather of Quebec and the Omerta Binding the Liberal Party

Another bizarre week in Quebec. First, the alleged godfather of the Rizzuto family which is said to control criminal activity in Montreal is gunned down in his home by a professional hit man. A few days later, an investigation by Radio Canada reveals collusion between the mafia, a number of construction companies, and one of the province's certified unions in the construction and resale of a condo unit.

The week before, the book, Mafia Inc., was released alleging that a consortium of fourteen companies in Montreal colluded to control the bidding process for public projects and that the member companies would pay a fee of 5% of the value of the contracts obtained to the Rizzuto clan. As well, two mayors of large municipalities were forced to step down concerning affairs where blatant conflict of interest came to light and a third is under investigation.

Yet, the Charest government remains steadfast in it's refusal to hold a public inquiry into the construction industry despite the accumulation of glaring irregularities that continue to pile up. Furthermore, all the while things get progressively worst in what Macleans magazine labelled the most corrupt province in Canada -- funny how the collective indignation that Macleans magazine brought about is long gone -- we are supposed to sit tight and wait for the results of Quebec's provincial police inquiry ridiculously referred to as Operation Hammer.

Give me a fricken break, how can I have confidence in a process where the political personnel in charge opt for a label out of a seventies cop show that overwhelming invites derision? How stupid do they think we are? Stupid enough to have elected them to a third term?

As could be expected, the continued refusal to hold the public inquiry incited Charest's political foes to make the connection between him and the mafia. During the week, a member of the PQ taunted Charest in the National Assembly by saying that Charest's refusal to act made him complicit to the collusion. On the weekend, the leader of the ADQ, Gerard Deltell, accused Charest of being the godfather of Quebec's Liberal Party, a charge that Charest tried to turn to his advantage by saying that he had become a victim of a personal attack.

What I found telling was how the mafia's code of silence, the omertà, had taken hold of the Liberals during the Party's national congress. One of the Party's militants actually went up to the microphone during a plenary session to move that the Liberals hold a public inquiry into the construction industry. The president of the assembly asked if there was anyone to second the motion, and despite the fact that 75% of the population wants the inquiry to be held, there was deathly silence in the hall holding more than 500 people and no one seconded the motion.

Talk about unwavering loyalty and blind obedience to authority. It was as if the Liberals were out to show the mafia how the omertà should be applied within a political party.

My only question is how long are the Liberals going to obey the dead man walking Premier? Isn't there anyone within the Party with the cajones to take on Charest?

For the rest of us, we'll have to make due with a petition posted on the Quebec National Assembly's website demanding that Charest resign as the Premier of Quebec. To sign the petition visit the site at:


  1. Just one problem; isn't what's good for the goose, good for the gander? Why pick on Charest? As if the PQ is so squeaky clean where construction contracts are concerned. Same problem for any party leading Quebec, now wouldn't it?

    Charest is far from ideal, but he's far better than Pauline Marois, who screams like a bantshee in the National Assembly over bill 115, and her Habs are too federalist. Have we forgotten her super sonic marble toilets and how she bought doctors and nurses' contracts?

    As for Gerard Deltell, he's proving himself no better than predecessor, Mario Dumont, reminding us why the ADQ is dead. Dumont ran the party into the ground like a petulant child and Deltell does the same thing to score desperately needed cheap headlines.

    You want to know the reincarnation of Maurice Duplessis? Look no further than the ADQ and their new friends, the Quebec Tea-party, Reseau Liberte Quebecois.

    So Charest gets booted or leaves from public pressure; you all celebrate. Then what? Who's going to want to take the party over the remainder of the mandate as a lame duck? Many thought Claude Bechard would, but he's dead now. So, who's left? Jean-Marc Fournier? Not likely; he's got too much baggage vis a vis the whole merger/demerger debacle. Denis Coderre? What a joke! Or some outsider the opposition will help in from some backroom deal in exchange for that precious media circus known as a public enquiry.

    Then the enquiry itself; have we learned nothing? Gomery proved to be a media circus, riddled with bias. Oliphant--Brian Mulroney isn't having criminal charges laid against him or any other penalty. Bastarache; public had its' mind made up along with the media before its' conclusion. Plus a bunch of witnesses promised immunity in exchange of saying stuff those interested want to hear. If one were launched into the construction industry, bet on a media circus; it will be directed in a way the PQ wants it to, because, as I've mentioned, they more than likely had the same issues when awarding construction contracts, they don't want to get caught. It will be skewed to no end and another media circus and the public's mind already made up before, during, after; no matter the details. Waste of the tax payers' money if you ask me.

    Interesting that you would write about the Rizzuto funeral in the same post as Charest's troubles...

  2. Hi CK,

    Two thirds of the people who read this blog live outside of Canada, so I need to provide the context in which political events develop, which explains why I would mention the Rizzuto assassination so people understand Deltell's godfather reference.

    Why do I pick on Charest? Well, he happens to be the Premier and he should be held accountable for the behavior of his government.

    In my opinion, your analysis of the opposition is little more than a rationalization to justify the corruption of the Charest government. Essentially, you are asking people to put up with Charest because he is, in your opinion, the lesser of the evils. In other words, better the devil we know.

    Sorry, I don't but it and neither do the 50,000 people who signed the electronic petition demanding Charest's resignation within the first day the petition came on line.


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