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Charbonneau Commission - corruption, criminals, and politicians

Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

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Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

3% kickback went to Montreal mayor's party: Zambito

Quote:

Quebec's construction inquiry has witnessed its first political bombshells, with a witness testifying Monday about systemic corruption at Montreal city hall and the mayor's political party.

An ex-construction boss says that, for years, three per cent of all the contracts he received from the City of Montreal went to the political party of Mayor Gerald Tremblay.

He says he was informed about the fundraising system by Nicolo Milioto — the same man seen on police surveillance video divvying up piles of cash with the head of the Sicilian Mafia in Canada.

The allegation comes from Lino Zambito, a former construction boss who has become the star witness of the inquiry so far. He has described bid-rigging in the industry during earlier testimony but has only just begun talking about the political world.

Mayor Tremblay just spoke to the media, saying he has no intention of resigning - he'll await the full commission report. Needless to say, both opposition parties are demanding that he quit immediately.

More popcorn, please.

 


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002
While I most certainly don't trust Tremblay, how reliable a witness Lino Zambito might be is certainly open to question. Who needs hockey? Charbonneau commission far more compelling, so far. There is lots of money, blood and scandal already. Perhaps it needs a sex angle somewhere?

Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Just to be more complete, Zambito testified that he regularly paid 6.5% as follows:

  • 3% to Tremblay's party, Union Montréal
  • 2.5% to the Mafia
  • 1% to an engineer employed by the city.

In other news, La Presse reports that SNC-Lavalin may have paid $22 million in bribes to secure the oversight of the massive McGill superhospital project, now under way.

[OD'ing on popcorn...]

Still need a sex angle, lagatta? I'm quite sure it's on the way.

 

 


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002
Yes, the La Presse report ends further credence to Zambito's testimony. We must not forget that the McGill superhospital project has a further real estate angle, beyond the (very high) construction costs. It also frees up hospitals located at such of the most prime real estate in central Montréal - imagine the Royal Vic!

love is free
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Joined: May 21 2012

yeah, this is sort of nuts.  one of the most interesting things (the video is up on la presse's site right now) is when he says that it wasn't even like a few people in on it, it was known throughout the entire industry by absolutely everyone: this is how business is done in montreal.  also sort of shocking was an anecdote at the end of the day directly tying accurso to vito rizzuto himself.  not bad for a single day.  the mayor better hope that noone from within his circle flips and offers testimony for immunity, at any rate, it seems pretty clear that this won't be as easy to get away with as the visits on yachts business last time around.

it's sort of weird too, like there seems not to be any real outrage about the city, it's as if people are treating this as entertainment, rather than linking it to the chronically terrible infrastructure and endlessly poor public services.


David Young
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Joined: Dec 9 2007

I am a little curious as to what effect this has on the provincial Liberal Party brand, and might it rub off on the federal Liberals.

How much do you want to bet that the Conservatives are looking at any possible way of tying former provincial Liberal cabinet minister Tom Mulcair to this?

Maybe this will be Rob Anders' next rant!

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

love is free wrote:

it's sort of weird too, like there seems not to be any real outrage about the city, it's as if people are treating this as entertainment, rather than linking it to the chronically terrible infrastructure and endlessly poor public services.

Corruption, kickbacks, Mafia, etc. doesn't necessarily add up to poor quality of work. Tongue out

But you're right. No one seems outraged. But didn't we all know about this for ages, just as Zambito says, without perhaps knowing the ugly details?

For example: Do they need a Commission to determine who has controlled the importation of various foodstuffs (think cheese) into Québec for decades? I can save them the time and money.

 


autoworker
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It's time to resurrect "Allo Police", and it's intrepid reporters and photo journalists. No doubt they would have established a sex angle by now-- with pictures!

lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002
We remember that 30 September marks the 6th anniversary of the viaduc de la Concorde tragedy - five dead and six injured, in Laval. http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/Montreal/2012/09/30/003-viaduc-concor... Indeed, the problem is this is "common knowledge". I think outrage will require tying it to specific disasters, or detailing how much this shit is costing everyone, and how it is also risking our lives.

bekayne
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autoworker
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Joined: Dec 21 2008
Like "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers", The above film should be remade every now and then. Since Arcand is busy shooting his new movie, perhaps "Rejanne" might be revisited as a play. Are there any resident dramaturges up to the task? Who might be cast? Thanks, bekayne.

love is free
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Joined: May 21 2012

three city employees suspended as the mayor and his gang try to get ahead of what could cascade very quickly into major reform.


love is free
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Joined: May 21 2012

a pretty calm day, by recent standards, except the revenue quebec (backed by the surety) raided a number of the offices belonging to quebec's mafia-backed construction titan, tony accurso.


Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

Oooooohhhh... (/stocking up on popcorn)


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Whatever happened with Serge Ménard's accusation that Guy Gilles Vaillancourt (mayor of Laval, whose home is being raided as we speak) offered him cash (cash cash) for his campaign? How do these things just go away quietly??

Pass some of your popcorn, please.

ETA: Whoops, thanks for the correction, Bärlüer. I knew his name was Gilles, but I'm suffering from septic popcorn shock!


Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

Unionist wrote:

Whatever happened with Serge Ménard's accusation that Guy Vaillancourt (mayor of Laval, whose home is being raided as we speak) offered him cash (cash cash) for his campaign? How do these things just go away quietly??

Pass some of your popcorn, please.

Gilles.

Possibly, in the Ménard case (and the other similar ones), they determined that the testimonial evidence of Ménard, uncorroborated by other evidentiary elements, wouldn't be sufficient to get a conviction.

The current investigation/search apparently pertains to contracts awarded by the city. Contracts -> eventually, material evidence. Material evidence = likey.

There's something so deeply satisfying about this news... It seems to me that rumours about Vaillancourt's, um, turpitude, have circulated for pretty much my whole life...


Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

BTW, according to the newly updated La Presse story, there are about 70 policemen involved in the operation...

I like the quote about the city employees looking at the operation "with satisfaction"...


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Laval City Hall being raided as well with police executing search warrants.


love is free
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Joined: May 21 2012

looks like our friend gladu down in longueuil may have been one of those to have exited once the police threat became too great.  and into the mêlée steps, this week or next, the man himself, vito rizzuto.  with everything going on - not just the charbonneau commission with could lead to a slew of tax evasion charges, but also a slow motion gang war involving dozens of acts of arson targetting his properties, a series of murders (including those of his son, brother-in-law and father) - one wonders is the strongman may not just abscond with his ill-gotten gains.


Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

This has just entered "holy shit" territory: Radio-Canada journalist Alain Gravel just said on the news that according to his sources, the Laval/Vaillancourt investigation/search targets "large-scale corruption" and what is alleged to be massive transfers of money (read: millions) to a country that is probably Switzerland.

Update: here's the text version of what Gravel said that has been added to the news story's page:

Quote:
Une enquête sur une affaire de corruption massive?

Des sources du journaliste Alain Gravel affirment que l'opération est davantage reliée à une enquête sur une corruption à « grande échelle » plutôt qu'à des stratagèmes de collusion. Les investigations porteraient sur des transferts de sommes pouvant atteindre des millions de dollars, vers la Suisse, pays caractérisé par le secret bancaire. Il serait aussi question d'échanges d'argent. À l'instar de Serge Ménard et de Vincent Auclair (voir plus bas), d'autres personnes auraient déclaré aux enquêteurs avoir reçu ou s'être vu offrir de l'argent par le maire Vaillancourt.


autoworker
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Joined: Dec 21 2008
Still waiting for the sex angle...

love is free
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Joined: May 21 2012

well, marois is into the ring now, saying that tremblay should probably go and that the province could put montreal under trusteeship if the commission's findings warrant it - which i take to men something to the effect of - if the ruling administration is so saturated with corruption that they're unable to run the city properly, something i doubt we'll find.  though if it did go down that way, it would be pretty amazing.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

autoworker wrote:
Still waiting for the sex angle...

How about a sextant for measuring angles? Best I could do on short notice.

ETA: Observe the risqué "micrometer screw" above.

 


autoworker
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Joined: Dec 21 2008
Does Marios seriously want to assume ownership of a major unknown quantity? Perhaps Montreal's problems warrant their own inquiry.

autoworker
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Joined: Dec 21 2008
Unionist wrote:

autoworker wrote:
Still waiting for the sex angle...

How about a sextant for measuring angles? Best I could do on short notice.

ETA: Observe the risqué "micrometer screw" above.

 

Indeed, certain investigations require a delicate instrument and a skilled technician. Alas, the art of approximation is being lost to the precision of today's digital technology. Whither the deft touch of a seasoned hand?

Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

Ex-Liberal minister David Whissell denies allegations of illegal fundraising

Quote:

David Whissell, the former Liberal minister named by Lino Zambito in testimony before the Charbonneau Commission, denies that a Liberal fundraiser asked Zambito for an illegal $50,000 contribution.

Zambito told the commission last week, in testimony only released Tuesday, that Christian Côté, an organizer for Whissell, asked for the contribution in 2007.

“Never, never,” Whissell said in a Radio-Canada radio interview.


Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

Quebec cabinet minister given flowers, tickets, corruption probe told

Quote:

“Dear Lino,” the Quebec cabinet minister wrote to construction boss Lino Zambito.

It was 2008, and municipal affairs minister Nathalie Normandeau was thanking Mr. Zambito for an impressive gift: a bouquet of 40 roses for her 40th birthday, which the contractor had sent to her Quebec City office. Judging from the personal note, the minister seemed to appreciate it. “The roses were magnificent,” she wrote by hand. “Forty times thank you.”

 


love is free
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Joined: May 21 2012

i expect tomassi will pop up there pretty shortly and, if we go by unexplained resignations, i'd guess that line beauchamp's name might also figure at some point as well.


autoworker
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Joined: Dec 21 2008
A rose is a rose is a rose...

love is free
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Joined: May 21 2012

and here's line beauchamp: http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/dossiers/commission-charbonneau/201210... so her partner at the time, the number 2 at loto-quebec was himself handling envelopes of money, hmm.  i'm guessing there's still more - one thing we know about charest and his gang is that sudden resignations - whissell, beauchamp, normandeau, tomassi sort of - occur for things that are pretty bad, not just slap on the wrist stuff.  i wonder about courchesne too.

also, 2.5% of contracts went directly to the laval mayor, not a bad slice of the action, all told, but certainly not as lucrative as the metro land sales scam, which will surely come up before everything is said and done.  and returning to the montreal level, zambito personally handed over 30 grand in cash to help finance the largest opposition formation's mayoral candidate, benoît labonté.


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