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Hey look: Slow down, Quebec! We can barely keep up with this stuff!


 

I would never have thought to chronicle recent developments in Quebec-based corruption, as I do in my column in this week’s print edition, if the members of Parliament you elected and pay with your tax dollars hadn’t fallen all over themselves to use up a bit of their work day crying crocodile tears about how mean — boo-hoo! — we were with our cover story on the same topic several weeks ago.

My preference has always been to look on the bright side, where I can find one. That’s why I’ve written articles about downtown development in Montreal that were far sunnier than what most Montrealers are writing (for a particularly scathing view of the Quartier des spectacles, check out Robert Lévesque’s ferocious essay in the latest Cahiers du Théâtre français). It’s why I saluted Quebec City’s 400th anniversary and have consistently emphasized Jean Charest’s key and unusual role in promoting Canada-EU trade. It’s why I write about the province’s musicians as often as I can find an excuse.

But my colleagues and I literally cannot keep up with the avalanche of shady business unveiled lately by our counterparts in Quebec City, Montreal and elsewhere. My column details events since September, but the problem is, I wrote it on Tuesday and there is already enough material for another one. Why, you could almost say it’s a veritable festival of resignations, withdrawals and expulsions.

If you can read about all of this and continue to think that Quebec’s biggest problem is Maclean’s, then congratulations. You have what it takes to be a member of Parliament.


 
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Hey look: Slow down, Quebec! We can barely keep up with this stuff!

  1. " …. I wrote it on Tuesday ….."

    That explains why no mention of Jacques Duchesneau. It seems like satire, the head of anti-corruption unit steps aside after claims he's corrupt. It would not surprise me at all if most/all people involved in Quebec politics have been corrupted – corruption is insidious and will eventually affect everyone, whether they are good or bad.

  2. Actually, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that Duchesneau is NOT corrupt. But, as a public figure in Quebec in 2010, he's a victim swept up with all the other garbage anyways. Maybe I'm wrong, which means the rot really is systemic. You can't even be an UNsuccessful politician without getting filthy with the scum underbelly of society. Ugh.

  3. "You can't even be an UNsuccessful politician without getting filthy with the scum underbelly of society."

    It would not surprise me at all if Quebec has reached this level. Pay to play culture seems to be business as usual in Quebec and everyone, no matter how noble, will get muck on their shoes.

  4. I just finished reading the comments section to an online article on Radio-Canada on increases for electricity rates in Ontario, reported to jump by 46% over the next five years. Someone was wondering if Ontarians were satisfied that Hydro Ontario was better managed and a better deal for Ontarians since its privatization by Mike Harris.
    I couldn't help to think about the Chairman of ON Hydro who had headed up the fund-raising effort for Harris's long-shot leadership campaign, joining five other business supporters in personally guaranteeing Harris's campaign debts (The Canadian Encyclopaedia).

    If Jean Charest were to privatize Hydro Quebec while his main fund-raising champion at the helm of the corporation there would have been not 100,000 but 500,000 people signing a petition demanding for his resignation in the space of 48 hours.

    Politics is very different in Quebec than in the rest of Canada. Corruption, not really.

  5. Ontario Hydro was split into OPG and Hydro One. Neither have been privatized, they are both 100% owned by the government of Ontario. In addition, rates are 100% regulated by the government.

  6. … increases for electricity rates in Ontario, reported to jump by 46% over the next five years. Someone was wondering if Ontarians were satisfied that Hydro Ontario was better managed and a better deal for Ontarians since its privatization by Mike Harris.

    Question for Loraine: was it Mike Harris who decreed that expensive electricity from bird-killing windmills shall be granted preferential access to Ontarian homes and electric bills?

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