I don't for a moment believe that Quebec is more inept than other provinces, in fact according to Conrad Black, Quebec is the best-run province fiscally and compared to the stupidity in Ontario, Canada's largest province which is run by an incompetent government led by an idiot Premier, we actually look pretty good.
But that being said, let me update you with some stories that you may have missed with the goal of getting to shake your head in disbelief and/or elicit a chuckle......
Tony Accurso fraud trial turns comicalIt's hard to believe that the one-time king of the Quebec construction industry and poster boy for the corruption that reigned in Quebec forever is finally on trial for his alleged misdeeds.
Accurso has so far put on an anemic fight, perhaps resigned to his fate. His defence is in essence that he was too big to get involved in petty corruption and it was his underlings that were responsible.
Channelling 'Sergeant Shultz,' Accurso claimed that he knew nothing and saw nothing.....
This led to his hilarious exchange between him and prosecutors while giving testimony on the stand.
"Are in agreement that Mr. Molluso betrayed your confidence during all these years? asked the crown prosecutor.
"Yes" responded Mr.Accurso.
"And I understand that Mr. Molluso is actually still working for you in your office."
"And you are still paying this guy?"
My prediction on the trial's outcome.....
Guilty as charged.
Sentence: 6 years in an 'Earl Jones' type country club prison with day passes after 6 months and parole after 18 months, when Accurso can pick up his life of opulence, sailing on his luxurious yacht in the Caribbean financed by idiot taxpayers.
And I can just picture him living the good life in 'jail.'
More incredible Stories of CorruptionAs Casey Kasem used to say..."The hits just keep coming!"
A side benefit of the Accurso trial is the testimony by corrupt fundraisers as to the extent of the corruption that existed (or perhaps still does) in just about every town in Quebec.
Marc Gendron et Roger Desbois, two slimy 'fundraisers' testified that not only were payoffs par for the course in Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt's Laval but all over towns north of Montreal.
While some of this was revealed in the Charbonneau Commission, the witnesses elaborated on the exact payoffs they made in Blainville, Lachute, Boisbriand, Saint-Therese and St Jerome, where the witness described an incredible $500,000 payoff on a contract of $69 million.
When reporters questioned UPAC (the anti-corruption police) as to whether these allegations are being pursued the standard "No Comment" was all that was to be had.
Anti-corruption police accused of ...you guessed it...CORRUPTION!Oh my, oh my!....Can it be??????
You might remember the arrest of a Quebec member of the National Assembly over alleged leaks concerning the activities of UPAC (the anti-corruption police,) an organization which incidentally is, in fact, responsible to no one.
Now it may be that the said MNA, Guy Ouellette, an ex-cop who has a spotless record of honesty was himself looking into allegations that UPAC itself is corrupt.
I won't bore you with the sordid details but here is as brief a synopsis as best I can describe.
It seems that Ouellet was informed by a close 'associate' (girlfriend??) whistleblower Annie Trudel of an alleged scheme involving UPAC, the AMF (the regulatory body of the Quebec financial markets) and a certain consulting firm.
Trudel was the person who was charged with investigating corruption at the Ministry of Transport and submitted a report to the National Assembly which WAS ACTUALLY DOCTORED surreptitiously by employees of the Ministry before its submission, to remove the damaging accusations. This led to the Deputy Minster being removed, but in true Quebec tradition, she landed on her feet, right in Premier Couillard's office....but I digress.
Now as a new anti-corruption measure, firms bidding for government contracts have to go through a vetting process run by the AMF. Trudel and Ouellet allege that UPAC, along with the AMF conspired with a consulting firm (which was used to steer companies through the process,) to bilk companies out of hundreds of thousands in excessive fees. One company paid around $600,000 to the consulting firm and accusations that a high ranking member of UPAC along with other UPAC members held shares in that company!!!!
Perhaps now we can understand the famous arrest Guy Ouellet (without charges ever being laid) as an intimidation effort by UPAC also meant to discredit him.
What is less known is that the same day Ouellet was arrested, Trudel was stopped on the street by UPAC investigators who demanded that she cooperate or face arrest as well. When she called their bluff and told them to f*ck off, the investigators called their superiors for instructions and were promptly told to let her go.
Does that sound professional to you?
Quebec's Auditor-General hit with accusations of ..... dishonestyOh, oh....
Quebec's auditor general has been cited in the press for alleged dubious business practices as owner of a company that received a $5 million government contract without tenders before she became auditor-general.
Guylaine Leclerc is alleged to have offered an AMF employee a free trip (AMF again????) to Laguna Beach, for Women in Business Leadership Forum. The offer was politely refused.
Robert Poëti, the Liberal government MNA in charge of overseeing the AMF invited the auditor-general to explain herself. sigh.....
Montreal's New Taxi livery created by IdiotsOkay, I understand that Montreal's taxis' were never required to distinguish themselves as such and generally looked like the dog's breakfast in contrast to for example, New York's famous yellow taxi livery.
But Montreal's new scheme for taxis was created by somebody who was a little too creative and had too much time on their hands. The new livery has the word "BONJOUR" painted on the side of the car instead of the more practical "TAXI" leading to certain confusion for foreigners visiting our city.
Instead of this more practicable version. that I Photoshopped...
Would you recognize these as a taxis in a foreign land?
Olympic Stadium delivers more painThe government announced that it will spend $200 million dollars to replace the Olympic stadium roof.
The stadium is over forty years old, long past the average lifespan of these type of stadiums.
The Houston Astrodome was declared obsolete after 35 years and after years of disuse was taken down in 2008.
Now we all know that the $200 million price tag will balloon exponentially and the question remains...
The stadium is North America's most expensive white elephant, one that Montrealers have been paying for in blood and dollars for decades. It remains a sad testament to Mayor Drapeau and architect Roger Taillibert's excessive overreach and hubris.
The stadium has exactly three events scheduled for the next year. Yup, three....
By the way;
“Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that if Montreal is going to be a major league city again, there needs to be a plan in place for a new ballpark. "We're not going to play in Olympic Stadium," he told reporters.”....Oh well, it's just another $200 million down the drain...
Quebec Justice marches on...at a snail's paceIt's hard to keep track of all the corruption scandals that have rocked Quebec over these last years, but the one that involved the late Arthur Porter is one that sticks out particularly.
Porter, in a position of trust, oversaw the building of the new $1.4 billion English super-hospital and was charged with orchestrating a $22 million dollar bribe, allegedly paid by SNC-Lavalin with the alleged complicity of one Yoni Elbaz who was charged with corruption OVER FOUR YEARS AGO.
And still no trial.
Today Elbaz is appealing to the court to dismiss the case based on the Jordan decision that requires a trial within 30 months.
It seems like a slam dunk for the defendant, but it remains to be seen what the crown will come up with, as an excuse.
Now Elbaz has been in a particularly cruel limbo over these past years as nobody but nobody is interested in doing business with him or hiring the alleged crook.
Somehow I don't feel sympathetic even though had he been convicted, he'd be long out of prison by now.
I'm interested to see how this pans out.
And speaking of the wheels of Quebec justice, its been 10 months already since the Quebec City mosque shooting and the alleged perpetrator Alexandre Bissonnette has still not had a trial with none scheduled.
Now the accused remains in detention, but what on Earth can be taking so long. The case is another no-brainer, with the facts not in dispute and the only question remaining being whether he is sane or not. Surely this should have been adjudicated already!
Montreal's bus caught in 'flagrante delicto'A television news story about a cyclist killed by an idiot tourist making an illegal U-turn caught a Montreal city bus blowing through a cross-walk on that same road at some 20 kilometres per hour over the speed limit....
This'n thatA defeated municipal politician Ani Samson will collect a record departure payment of some $280,000, money designed to make the transition into private sector a bit easier... Ya think??
The new mayor of Montreal wants the power to impose a surcharge on foreigners buying homes in Quebec, especially in Montreal where prices remain incidentally among the cheapest in large cities in Canada. Meant to protect new home buyers, the mayor fails to understand that the homes and condos targeted by foreign buyers are among the most expensive properties in Montreal, not exactly fodder for new home buyers.
That a celebrity Quebec chef, Giovanni Apollo who was outed as lying about his background (his real first name Jean-Paul and he was not born in Italy) is nothing particularly newsworthy, it was his response that was memorable.
"A La Presse investigation published today that raised questions about his past, including his identity, his qualifications and even his place of birth."
His response is priceless.
“It may be that some parts of my personal life might have been romanticized or some statements about me could have been nuanced, but by in no case will I accept we transform this into ridicule or lies 34 years of learning, varied experiences and meetings in the kitchen.” Apollo wrote on Facebook.
**********************Quebec judge OKs class-action lawsuit after major Montreal snowstorm last March
Now the 1500 people stuck on the highway overnight are now claiming a paltry $3,000 for their ordeal. Given that the Quebec government hasn't a legal leg to stand on, you'd figure that settling would be prudent.
Even if the litigants get all they claim, it would mean a payout of just $4.5 million and with a little bargaining that could be knocked down to perhaps just three million. Considering that a trial would be humiliating and cost a fortune and that the government would inevitably lose, one would think discretion would be the better part of valour.
You might recall that the ranking police officer in charge of operations that night was goldbricking and absent from his desk, busy completing a private real estate transaction at a notary's office, for his moonlighting job.
Will the government do the right thing? Dunno....
**********************As Quebecers champion the anti-pipeline position based on environmental concerns they blithely ignore the fact that Quebec is the champion of the archaic pollution engine that are the wood-burning stoves used for home heating, even in urban Montreal.
“As the colder weather sets in across southern Quebec, wood heating is being blamed for a smog warning in the Greater Montreal area and parts of the Laurentians, Montérégie, Lanaudière, Mauricie and Quebec City regions”.How's that for hypocrisy!
Over 60% of the
And so 60% of what we re-cycle is destined for the dump. Ha!Ha!
“Former Parti Québécois leader André Boisclair has confirmed he was arrested in Quebec City early Thursday morning after crashing his vehicle into a lamppost.Think Boisclair is really all that remorseful????
"I was indeed arrested last night for having driven my car while being under the influence of alcohol," said a post on Boisclair's Facebook page, which was published Thursday evening.
“ I made a big mistake and I am deeply sorry and I will now have to face the consequences," the post went on in French.”.
“Police say the suspect refused to take a breathalyzer test and tried to intimidate officers.”.Is it deja-vu all over again? This from 2005;
“The question about André Boisclair's cocaine use was put point-blank to him yesterday after he spent days avoiding answering queries about the subject.
"What I can tell you is that I made mistakes. I did things I now regret. Yes I happen to have used. I can't be any clearer than that," Mr. Boisclair reluctantly said yesterday, refusing to use the word cocaine despite pointed questions by reporters.”
“Quebec radiologists are routinely billing the provincial health insurance agency for analyzing coronary angiograms, sometimes years after the procedures were carried out, Radio-Canada's Enquête has learned.
The interpretation of coronary angiograms was long ago made unnecessary by technological advances...” Link
Let's Finish with something feel-goodThe Canadiens were recently in Chicago for a game with the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center where resident anthem singer Jim Cornelison treated fans to a stirring rendition of O Canada in both French and English.
Cornelison is the very best at his trade in the NHL and perhaps the Habs could invite him to Montreal to show off his pipes.
Who says French Quebecois don't get any respect in the USA?