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: