Allô Nathalie!

by Paul Wells

Quebec’s deputy premier, Nathalie Normandeau, strode to a news conference clutching the latest copy of Maclean’s….

 ”Maclean’s should apologize to all the people of Quebec. . . Maclean’s is attacking our institutions, our history, our symbols. Today, Maclean’s deliberately decided to attack the whole of Quebec, of who we are as a society.”

— CTV News, Sept. 24, 2010

Former construction boss Lino Zambito says he organized a lucrative fundraising dinner in 2008 featuring then-deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau, which he says raised $110,000, and that he funnelled donations through third parties to keep the contributions within the legal limit which was then $3,000.

 He says he suggested his plans to a prominent Liberal bagman.

 ”I said: ‘I want to invite about 20, 25 people and raise $100,000.’ (The organizer) told me, ‘Don’t forget — the law doesn’t allow a donation of more than $3,000 per person,’” Zambito said.

 ”I said, ‘That’s fine.’”

— Canadian Press, tonight

 UPDATE: Normandeau responds (to Zambito, not to me). She was a straight shooter, she sometimes showed up at fundraisers, whaddya whaddya.




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Allô Nathalie!

  1. So Normandeau gets caught and that makes Maclean’s automatically right on everything? You know both can wrong at the same time right? I also think that you’re not doing yourself any favours by defending the marketing strategy of Maclean’s which consists of insulting anyone or anything just to create shock so more magazines are sold . Without the cover, no one would’ve cared about the issue in question as everything in it was based on old info (Ok, well Coyne’s column was pretty bad too). Anyone who watches RadCan or reads La Presse already knew all that anyways. And saying “Well we trashed Toronto too” is just making it worse. Two final points: I’m glad the commission is underway and that politicians are being implicated (especially Normandeau). Finally, just admit the cover was pure provocation, irrespective of the quality of the actual article.

    • Out of curiosity: what were they wrong about?

      • Nobody has ever been able to make anything stick against Bonhomme… although I believe he was the first to lawyer up.

    • the controversial cover might have been what got more people to read the story, which turned out to be 100% accurate. Which in turn might have lead to more pressure to start investigating the corruption that so many have known to be rampant in Quebec for a long time.

      Funny how defending Quebec also seems to now mean you have to defend Quebec corruption.

      • “you have to defend Quebec corruption”
        Have you actually read what I wrote?

        Also, very few people in Qc read Maclean’s. It was a sales stunt and it worked. Nothing new was added to the discussion, Rad-Can and La Presse were actually uncovering stories. Patriquin just went over what was already known for you people. And this is fine. I disagree with Patriquin more often than not but he did a good job. My point is that without the cover and the headline no one would have cared about it because it didn’t add anything.

        To say it added pressure is ridiculous. Pissing off someone is not a way to start a discussion. The pressure was already there and it’s english Canada’s hero, J. Charest, that refused to look into it for so long.

        Finally, Coyne’s column was pretty bad but then nothing new there. If anything, he should have been the one going to Qc to defend the issue, in french.

        • My takeaway from this is that it’s ok for people from Quebec to talk about corruption in Quebec. It’s not ok for anyone from outside of Quebec to publicize or talk about corruption in Quebec. If you do so, you’re being insensitive, discriminatory and anti-Quebec.

          • To be fair such a story from a QC based mag about corruption in say, AB that turned out to be true would likely generate some outrage too.
            You’re point brings up a larger one for me…who, anywhere has the right to speak for Canada as a single entity anymore? Corruption in QC is a serious matter, worthy of serious scrutiny, precisely because it is a Canadian matter.

          • Orson, then that’s the wrong takeaway. If anything, Quebec (its people AND its 4th estate) is demonstrating how it holds a very low tolerance level for this kind of behaviour from its public servants. When there’s even a whiff of corruption, they drag their politicians in the street to be tarred and feathered. If the rest of Canada held to that standard, Harper wouldn’t have made it back in office, Ford wouldn’t still be mayor of Toronto, etc.

        • er-er-er-moronic comment

  2. We are still only at the stage of allegations, right!

    Still, for federal libs this must be, on some level bad news . What with Mcguinty getting so much bad press[ and maybe doing bad too for all i know] and the outing of various sleazy goings on in BC, the brand is not in such good shape. I wonder if any of this will stick to the LPC too? JT says he wants to rebuild rather than renew; maybe a good first step might be the federal libs ditching the other guys and renaming/branding the party, before they do any more damage to the existing brand.

  3. David Hume ~ the corruption of the best things gives rise to the worst

  4. Paul, forgive me for intruding here. I am wondering if you could e-mail me? I was hoping to get some book suggestions from you on a certain political/historical topic.

    • Did they cut off his phone? Certainly not his twitter feed:) He quite often gives out his email there.

    • Also I’d need your email address. Here, try inklesswells at gmail dot com

  5. Nice try but Macleans was still dead wrong for that cover. If my memory serves me right, it read that Quebec was THE MOST corrupt province in the country. That some of its politicians are corrupt is a matter of verifiable fact. That is the THE MOST corrupt in the country is something that Macleans simply could not verify. So I wouldn’t gloat….But that’s just me.

    • Is there another province even in the running?

      • You can’t possibly believe that this kind of political corruption ONLY takes place in Quebec. Really?

        Again, the only difference here is that Quebecers don’t turn a blind eye to it. Hello G20 pork barreling? Guelph Robocall fraud? Cadman affair?Ornge Scandal? That ish wouldn’t fly in Quebec but it sure does everywhere else. The ROC media moves on with a quickness (and that’s when they bother to do thorough reporting) whereas the Quebec press will hound you until you have nowhere to hide. Charest could only DREAM of ever being able to prorogue the leg assembly the way Harper has. He would have gotten lynched right then and there.

        So instead of looking down on Quebec, some of you should take a long look at your own selves.

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