Here we go again in Quebec on another roller coaster ride politically like we do not have enough problems in the province already. Lets take a look at Quebec’s construction industry , a shining example of what happens when a province is more worried about the language you speak then what is going on in the government, big business and corruption. We have known for years that the government of Quebec has either turned a blind eye to corruption in the construction industry because it was involved in the corruption, or that it was afraid of those who were corrupting the construction industry namely organized crime. One only has to look at the state of our roads, bridges, buildings and highway overpasses to understand that something has gone wrong. If this is not enough proof then just look at the opinion of others throughout the world who have named Quebec one of the most corrupt places in the world.
For years the members of the Mayor’s office in Montreal have agreed that there is corruption and that they are afraid for their families after receiving threats from anonymous callers, but no public enquiry has been made into the problem until now. For years members of the Quebec provincial government have complained publicly about being threatened by members of organized crime when they spoke out about irregularities in the tendering process and other things, but the Quebec government refused to hold an enquiry and one must ask the question why? What is Quebec afraid to find, or what is it Quebec is afraid will be uncovered with this type of probe?
Read an article I found in Macleans.ca titled, Montreal is a disaster, by Martin Patriquin– Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 1:45 PM. He quotes both Mayor Tremblay and Vision Montréal‘s, Louise Harel both admitting to fears and threats from organized crime. Here is what was said about the above and I have posted a link directly below for you to read the whole story:
Gérald Tremblay wants it known that he is scared for the well-being of his family. Montreal’s mayor and leader of the municipal party Union Montréal (Quebec has parties at the city level) is vying for a third term. He says his decision to clean up city hall during the past four years has made him a target of Montreal’s criminal underbelly. He recently reminded voters of the time police found two ﬁre bombs behind his country house in 2005. Then there was the time when, as Quebec’s industry minister, he denied a liquor permit to a Montreal-area wine producer—who was subsequently found dead in the trunk of his own car. “I’m not naive,” Tremblay told Le Devoir last week. “I’m very well informed. I knew exactly what I was getting into with the city of Montreal.”
Vision Montréal, Louise Harel, reminded voters that her late husband, journalist and union leader Michel Bourdon, was repeatedly threatened by the Maﬁa. Richard Bergeron, of the upstart Projet Montréal, says he has requested police protection, though he makes it clear that his crusade against municipal corruption hasn’t garnered him any death threats—yet. “Everyone knows where I live,” he told a reporter recently.
Quebec’s Labor Minister, Lise Theriault‘s was threatened with the breaking of both her legs if she did not keep her mouth shut and still the government of Quebec remains quiet and does nothing. One must ask itself the question do we have only cowards running this government, or are they that deeply involved in this industries corruption that they can not afford to protect their own ministers who are seeking reform.
Now it would seem that the word in the street is that the Premiere of Quebec, Jean Charest is trying to turn the page and move forward. The threatened Minister claims she will press forward with her changes to the law in bill 33 and that threats of this nature will not stop her, but only strengthen her resolve to see the reforms done to the industry. Everyone in the government seems terrified and as construction sites were shut down all over this city in illegal strike action the government sat trembling it is offices trying to turn the page, or in other words do nothing. Corruption, threats to government ministers and beatings of females on job sites and not even a fine, not one arrest not even a public enquiry.
Who is running Quebec is my question and should I just pay off the mob, or the Unions, or are they one and the same? Their gangster like tactics certainly would demand that the government take action against them and bring them to justice. For a long time I have thought that unions have been getting too powerful and not quite out for the workers anymore. The unions do not seem as interested in fighting for fair equity, but for more power. What used to be a push for benefits due to job related injuries, pension plans and health benefits has now become a push for the most part unjustifiable wage increases that are passed on to the rest of us in rate hikes for everything from rapid transit fares, mail delivery, utility prices and even tuitions and medical treatments. I do not agree with the methods being applied by the Prime Minister and the power crazy Lisa Raitt our federal Labour Minister.
I look at the hospitals in Montreal where no one is hiring personnel and hospitals are under staffed and just shake my head. Hospitals where nurses, doctors and coordinators are working double shifts and are not allowed to take more than a week vacation at a time and every strike is about more money not better working conditions and wonder when do these hard-working people get to rest, or sometimes even sleep? More money equals more union dues; better working conditions gets the union zilch. It is not hard to get the average under paid employee to go on strike for more money, but it is not always what is most important to their health and welfare. The unions know that it’s membership could always use more money and they use this fact to make everything else negotiable and secondary.
Air Canada‘s union turned on its own members and accepted a deal not ratified by its membership making it easy for Lisa Raitt to do what she did. There was a time when unions were for the people who worked under unfair labour practices, dangerous working conditions and in fact come into play to help the employees get a fair deal, but I think that the pendulum has swung too far when they start letting their members threaten government officials with bodily harm and when the males in the union start beating up women and kicking them with steel toed boots and the union does nothing.
Scandal is not a new problem for Quebec or the federal government, corruption in the construction industry and scandals involving all levels of government in just about every town, city, province and at all levels of government awarding contracts to obviously crooked enterprises, taking bribes and turning a blind eye to shoddy work and substandard work until someone dies has been the norm for Canada. Was not the federal government rocked by scandal when trying to put a new face lift on Capital Hill? Is Quebec not falling apart right now due to shoddy construction, inferior materials being used over generations and our government being literally threatened by organized crime? Has not every Mayor of Montreal, a few council members been involved in a scandal in one part of the construction industry? This does not show the work of a good union, a responsible union, or a union looking out for its members; it shows a powerful union interested in gouging every last dime it can out of the government and by that us the taxpayer as well.
If the government is expected to not interfere with the workings of unions, will the unions start to police themselves and get back to what their original reason for being? Which I was under the impression was the safe guarding of the rights of employees and to get a fair deal for their members work from their employers. To make sure that safety standards are kept and that the employees in return give in a good days work and follow the agreed upon rules of agreements and not just to gouge and bleed employers and governments out of every dollar they feel that they can extort by inconveniencing the public. Unless it is getting paid for 5 days work when only working a 3 or 4 day week I hear no issues concerning job safety, or needing to hire more staff. In other words let the patients wait in the halls for over 12 hours to be seen we just want to make sure that our overtime is guaranteed and that our pensions are secured.
I feel that unions have their place in our world, but what they are fighting for most of the time hurts the economy, hurts the workers and definitely puts an unfair burden on the backs of the tax payers of Canada. It is hard to get behind the rising cost of stamps, because the postal worker wants to be paid $25 an hour when most delivery people make $10 per hr. plus tips and in reality they are nothing more than delivery persons. Bus drivers and the like should be striking for safety issues and unfair working conditions not always more pay for less working hours, I could get behind the cost of that. In short unions need to go back to their orignal mandate and that was to get a fair wage for work done by their members, the best working conditions possible and number one has to be safety, all other things are simply greed and should be treated by the population and governments as such. When a union or union member, a government or governmental employee, a company or it directors is deemed corrupt it should be challenged and I believe broken and cast to the way side and replaced, but that is just my humble opinion.
‘There has always been corruption or there would be no need for unions, but when the government becomes powerless, or is in collusion with the corrupters something needs to be done. In an effort to be protectionists and keep all contracts in everything from buying metro cars to major construction projects francophone based the Quebec governments no tender required law opened up the flood gates for bribes, corruption and organized crime.
Globe and Mail reports that, “Jacques Duchesneau, the outspoken investigator whose exposé of well-oiled corruption in Quebec’s construction industry put the Liberal government on the defensive, has been fired”. This is how the government and the people the government is trusting to look into corruption in Quebec thanks the person who made the push to change things. Is it any wonder that Quebecers think that the government has its hand in the cookie jar along with the gangsters and corrupt union officials?
- Still doubt there’s corruption in Quebec? (fullcomment.nationalpost.com)
- Elections Quebec keen on corruption probe (cbc.ca)
- Red tape leading to corruption in Que. construction industry: Entrepreneur (canada.com)
- Labour Minister, union square off over Bill 33 (cbc.ca)
- Quebec construction sites idle for second day (ctv.ca)