Another Day, Another Con Scandal - Senator Leo Housakis

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Another Day, Another Con Scandal - Senator Leo Housakis

CBC is reporting that a Quebec a construction company owner, Lino Zambito, who testified before the Charbonneau Commission about provincial and muncipal corruption in the construction industry, made illegal donations to the ADQ through that Conservative Senator Leo Housakos. Zambito also claims that Housakos asked for legal contributions to star Quebec 2008 Conservative candidate Claude Carignan, who has recently been named Conservative leader in the Senate, which he gave expecting favourable treatment in government contracts in return. 

 Conservative Senator Leo Housakos solicited tens of thousands of dollars' worth of questionable construction industry donations for a Quebec provincial party immediately prior to his appointment to the upper house in 2008, according to one of the star witnesses at the Quebec inquiry into municipal and provincial corruption.

Lino Zambito, a construction company owner who was one of the first to tell Quebec's Charbonneau commission about the elaborate kickback schemes set up between municipal and provincial politicians, engineers and construction bosses, now tells CBC News that he also gave money to Leo Housakos, who, Zambito says, approached him for a $30,000 political donation in the fall of 2008. ...

In the run-up to the provincial election in December 2008, the fledgling party was doing so well, said Zambito, that construction firms like his took notice and were prepared to pay to win favour.

Last week, a spokesperson for Housakos relayed to CBC News the senator's previous statement that he had never been involved in illegal fundraising. ... Since corporate donations are not allowed in Quebec, and the limit for personal donations was then set at $3,000 per contributor per party, Zambito says he had to use the illegal "prête-nom" system to come up with that kind of money. While never explicitely stated, he said he assumed Housakos knew the game.

This "prête-nom" scheme was a way for companies to conceal an illegal corporate donation through a series of much smaller, seemingly legal contributions from different people. ...

The construction boss said he came up with between $20,000 and $25,000 in cheques for the ADQ that he handed off directly to Housakos on two separate deliveries in the fall of 2008, and then reimbursed his friends and employees. He didn't make his $30,000 target, but he said Housakos was pleased with the sum.



Should have known the stink of corruption from the commission would float upwards eventually I just hope we find out about some of the liberal parties crap as well, no way are the Liberals clean.

 Still when it rains it pours for the Tories on scandals. Like this is the last thing Harper needs right now. I just think it makes it more likely Steven says fuck and calls for abolishing the Senate.

Lens Solution

The Conservatives are lashing out against the CBC - as usual:


Sen. Leo Housakos: CBC Report About Fundraising Activities A 'Hatchet Job'


MONTREAL - A Conservative senator has expressed anger over a news report that he says unfairly insinuates that he took part in improper fundraising during his past involvement in Quebec politics.

Leo Housakos has told The Canadian Press that he already spoke to the Prime Minister's Office to share his version of the facts before the report aired Monday night, and has consulted his attorney about possible legal action.

"(It) is completely defamatory and erroneous," Housakos said in an interview. "It's absolutely a hatchet job of the worst degree."

In the report by the CBC, a star witness at Quebec's corruption inquiry said Housakos had collected political donations that had been raised by questionable means on behalf of a provincial party in 2008, shortly before his appointment to the upper chamber.

Lino Zambito, the inquiry witness, told CBC News that Housakos asked him to raise "$30,000 of cheques" for the now-defunct Action democratique du Quebec before that year's provincial election.



Lens Solution

Tory Senator oversaw fundraising now being eyed by elections chief

by Jennifer Ditchburn, The Canadian Press

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

OTTAWA – Quebec’s electoral watchdog says that illegal financing of Quebec’s now defunct ADQ may have occurred _ and the time frame overlaps with Tory Senator Leo Housakos time as chief fundraiser for the provincial party.

Meanwhile, the former leader of the ADQ, Gilles Taillon, told The Canadian Press on Tuesday he gave a deposition to Quebec police in 2009 outlining his concerns that the party had been taking in illegal donations in previous years.

“In 2009, we were calling for an inquiry into the construction industry, and to clean up political financing. (Party insiders) came back and said to me, be careful what you’re saying Gilles, because these things are going on in your own house,” said Taillon, who bitterly left his post after only three weeks.

“I would have cleaned things up if I had stayed, but since I left I handed it over to the police. At the time, it was a bit strange to go to the police about that, but now I think I was right to do it because today we know what was going on wasn’t pretty.”

The comments come a day after construction boss Lino Zambito told CBC News that Housakos had asked him to make a donation of $30,000 to the ADQ in 2008. At the time, Housakos was also Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s appointee on the board of Via Rail.



Tom Mulcair says that Harper should see if the same type of system used to solicit funding for the ADQ in Quebec by Conservative Senator Leo Housakos was used by the Conservatives in Quebec. In the CBC TV report yesterday on the scandal, it was noted that when the issue of federal corruption came up in the Charbonneau inquiry, the commissioner cut off any examination of the topic because it was outside his mandate to examine municipal and provincial corruption in Quebec. 

 At the Charbonneau inquiry into municipal and provincial corruption in Quebec, (construction boss) Zambito and several other witnesses said there was a system in place to make illegal corporate donations to political parties in return for getting an advantage on government contracts. These witnesses have all been promised immunity from criminal prosecution for their testimony.

However, CBC TV reported yesterday that, other than Zambito, the other witnesses were unwilling to talk about federal corruption because they could be sued for libel since this would involve describe what happened outside the legal protection from libel for testimony before the Charbonneua inquiry.


 Conservative Senator Leo Housakos ripped into the CBC Tuesday for a story he said suggests he was involved in improper fundraising during his time in Quebec, calling the report "a hatchet job of the worst degree." ... The senator's strong denial, however, did not dissuade political opponents from calling for a larger probe into the possibility of questionable political fundraising at the federal level.

Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair told reporters that the Charbonneau commission in Quebec had outlined how construction executives and politicians had come together to thwart the law and extract favours, both municipally and provincially. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the NDP leader said, "should try to find out if the same sort of system was put in place for the Conservatives" federally.


Housakos now admits that he asked Zambito for funding for Conservative Quebec candidate (and now Conservative Senate leader) Claude Carignan's election campaign in 2008, in contradiction of his testimony before a parliamentary committee. 

 In his conversation with CP, Housakos confirms he did ask Zambito for a donation to the federal Conservatives, saying that he asked the construction boss to donate whatever he wanted. Housakos says Zambito then offered the three donations, within the legal limit.

But this contradicts Housakos's claim before a parliamentary committee in February 2008 in which he stated: "Since January 2006 I have never solicited anybody for the Conservative Party in Quebec. Since my nomination to the board of Via Rail at the end of 2007, I've refrained from any political activity at the federal level."

 A Housakos spokesperson told the CBC again last week that the senator did no fundraising for the Tories during that period.

Lens Solution

jerrym wrote:

In the CBC TV report yesterday on the scandal, it was noted that when the issue of federal corruption came up in the Charbonneau inquiry, the commissioner cut off any examination of the topic because it was outside his mandate to examine municipal and provincial corruption in Quebec.

Her mandate. ; )

Lens Solution

Seems like there were some warning signs about this guy 4 years ago.  Here's an article from 'Le Devoir' from November 2009:

Léo Housakos, l'argentier fantôme de la droite - Portrait d'un collecteur de fonds

Lens Solution

The NDP needs to make a TV commercial showing the vast array of Con insiders who have been involved in scandal to define the Cons as the definition of corruption before the election, taking them down in the same way the Cons took down Dion and Ignatieff. However, they need to aim the ads at both Harper and the Conservative party in order to avoid what happened to the BC NDP who successfully attacked Premier Bennett in the 1980s causing him to resign, only to be replaced by another Socred, Vander Zalm, who won the next election as a fresh face who the NDP had not tarnished.