Commissions that are supposed to be getting at the truth in a non-partisan way and coming to conclusions based on factual evidence given by witnesses and in most cases having a mandate to suggest ways and give recommendations that it feels would help avoid such problems in the future, have been high jacked by political opponents of the governing parties on all levels of government, civic, provincial and federal and have become a tool used not to prove anything, but to try to add credence to the innuendo and baseless and fact less accusations, before the enquiry has reached any official conclusion. In other words the opposition parties put out propaganda saying they must be guilty or there would be no reason for the enquiry in the first place. The truth is that Commission like the Gomry Commission and the Charbonneau Commission often end up costing Canadians a whole lot of money and often do not prove anything against the people they were established to prove fault in and so and enquiry to prove that a political figure did something illegal ends up causing that political figure their job by just being named, while all along the guilty party is someone else entirely.
I am no lover of Jean Charest, but somethings keep nagging me at the back of my mind about the Charbonneau Commission like:
Why it was originally pushed for by the Parti Quebecois and why after The Parti Québécois’ name was mentioned in the enquiry, by a gangster giving testimony about corruption to the Charbonneau Commission did Pauline Marois say she was going to try to close the commission down?
Why did Pauline Marois once again feel confident after meeting with her caucus behind close doors that she and her party could flip-flop once again and take the position that she and her party would no longer seek the closure of the Charbonneau commission, but would become the party to push for changes in Quebec and end the corruption? Did she realise that the guy had no proof of her party’s guilt?
- Why has this story just died in the news and the spotlight focused totally on the shameful mayors, crooked members of city council, mobsters and engineers?
- Who was originally accused of the wrong doing, who paid the political price for it and who seems to be the target of the investigation now and was there really any proof against Jean Charest and the Liberal Party of Quebec?
This all stinks of political opportunism to me. I know that there is a serious problem with corruption in Quebec, but my instincts and my gut tell me that the big fish on the provincial level are going to be thrown back into the sea and given a free pass, while the local civic government officials are going to be fed to us the angry voters as chum to quell our appetites for provincial political blood and hopefully put and end to the feeding frenzy. Pauline Marois has supported and pushed for the investigative commission, at first leveling her guns solely at Jean Charest, accusing Jean Charest and the Liberal Party of Quebec of all manner of wrong doing in the construction industry when it would seem that it was a couple of her politically separatists supporting mayors that directly or indirectly involved in all manner of corruption in Quebec.
Pauline Marois quickly sought to close down the Charbonneau Commission shortly after coming to power when it looked like the Parti Quebecois and the Action Democratic might be implicated in some wrong doing. As the focus drifted away from targets provincial and the evidence started to mount against civic leaders Madame Marois once again emerged as the leader best able to put and end to the corruption that has been plaguing Quebec for years and once again decided to back the Charbonneau Commission in its effort. Pauline Marois and her followers have been very careful not to accuse anyone on a provincial level of corruption again and I feel that it is because she does not want whatever skeletons that are buried in her political party’s closest to get out.
There can be no defense for a mayor of a city who turns a blind eye to the corruption going on in his / her city and I do not think that simply retiring from public service is punishment enough. When it is proved that a mayor or any politician is guilty of duping the citizens of Canada out of money then those monies should be taken back in cash or other assets and then thrown in prison like any other criminal. I believe in my heart that politicians doing what these men seem guilty of doing violate the public trust, defraud the citizens of not only Montreal, but every citizen of Canada out of monies which they receives as a salary for a job they did not do and should have to repay those monies with interest as well as the monies they have stolen and all monies or assets gained by illegal means stripped from them and put into ongoing projects for the city or province. I believe that Gerald Tremblay was afraid of the mob, in fact he said he was threatened by them years ago. My problem with Gerald Tremblay is that this man stop running for office and give Montrealers a break and take away the mobs ability to use him? No he kept running and winning for 11 years and pretending nothing was amiss and to me this is as bad as what the mobsters have done to this city if not worse.
A larger question though is why didn’t the governing Liberal Party, or the Parti Québécois step in and do something to help, or stop the corruption? Why didn’t one provincial politician do anything? Is this really the way of doing business in Quebec? Are all of our politicians deaf, blind and dumb? Are all of the politicians in Quebec incompetent and negligent, or are all of them just plain crooked? The mayor is the boss of the police and I wonder just what else he knew about in terms of corruption and abuse, but pretended not to see. So far 2 mayors will fall a host of engineers and minor civic officials under police protection after giving evidence and still no charge, or even hint of evidence against Jean Charest and his government and I knew there would be none, because the same unfounded allegations were used to attack another Liberal government when they wanted and got rid of Jean Chretien, but that happened on a federal level, stemming out of yet again corruption in Quebec. Funny how all of this corruption seems to all be falling away from the Separatists, but in reality it is their only for french Quebecers‘ policies and pressure tactics that seem to be creating the openings for these corrupt acts. Quebec needs to focus on all the things that matter and not only its language and distinctness, because when it does not corruption gets overlooked. I wonder does it matter if the language in the deals were conducted in French or English? Our only distinction in Quebec right now is that we are distinctly crooked in our government dealings in just about everything.
Political rivals used the Sponsorship Scandal to bring about the Gomery Commission and the end of Jean Chretien. Oh it was going to prove that Jean Chretien himself was a corrupt leader and he would eventually face criminal charges, but to this day nothing was ever proven, not on allegation and not one charge was laid against him, except that he gave golf balls to the president of the USA. It would seem that these commissions are not about rooting out corruption and all guilty of participating in it, but are more about how to use the commissions to one political advantage without having you or your political party getting thrown into the pot. My point is this why do we need these super trials to get to the bottom of these matters of political wrong doing? Why can’t these crooks go before a judge in a regular court like every other Canadian accused of wrong doing? Why can’t these high ly paid officials pay for their own lawyers and court costs and have the false accuser pay for the costs if they are found to be falsely accused? I feel that these things would stop the unfounded witch hunts and save this country a bundle of tax dollars.
In my opinion the worst possible act of blatant corruption in this country’s history was committed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. When he was publicly accused of wrong doing by the Liberals of taking kick backs in what was called the Air Bus Affair, he lied to the court and as a result was able to bilk the Canadian people out of a cool 2 million dollar plus out of court settlement. Now some years later he is called to testify he decides to tell the truth and says the reason he did not disclose the truth when first asked about his taking money is that nobody asked him the question direct enough, okay chose not to convict himself, but why sue and accept money when you know you were guilty and Judge Jeffery Oliphant, was powerless to do anything with the knowledge gained of this fraud except to admonish the smug Mulroney and urge him to do the right thing basically and try to salvage some of his reputation. That is it folks after millions of dollars spent in legal fees and expenses, what we get for our money is a an out of court settlement to a crooked Prime Minister on the take. It would have been cheaper on the Canadian people to let him get away with the graft at least that was not coming directly out of our pockets. What I am getting at is we do not need high-priced Commissions and inquiries costing millions of dollars to tell us that politicians should not be stealing and to find ways to stop them other than putting them behind bars like everybody else. Why are these people being treated as though they are above the law? Why does the mandate of these types of Commissions have the authority to at the very least force further criminal legal action and seek restitution of illegally gotten gains like in the case of gangsters? Without these powers these commissions are little more than a tool to be used by members of the political opposition parties to sling mud at political rivals and do little to serve in the way of justice. Why seek the truth with the intention of doing nothing with what you have found?
What good are commissions with no power to seek a legal remedy except to be used as a political tool to give the voter the impression that the party calling for it wants justice done and to run an unfounded smear campaign against a political rival at the tax payers expense? I feel that these commissions prove just how far above the law these political figures are. These people commit fraud, steal huge sums of money and violate their office and in every case if they step down they get a get out of jail free pass. Canadian politicians seem to be above the law or at least above the punishment that would befall the average citizens found guilty of the same charge. If they are going to get off in the end, what is the point of having these extremely long and expensive enquiries. these corrupt politicians should if caught and proved guilty of defrauding the people of Canada should lose their pensions, lose their jobs and be given minimum jail sentences to serve, like their laws impose on others who commit crimes. I believe that this would do more to prevent crooks from entering politics then all the commission reports and recommendations to date. We know this will not come to pass, for it would require too many politicians at one time with clean hands. As I have said in the past, “Step right up, hurry, hurry welcome to the greatest show on earth the Canadian Political system. We will endeavour to keep you on the edge of your seat, put your heart in your mouth and dazzle you with our sleight of hand, so step right up and enjoy the show. Hurry hurry before the show begins and it only costs a few bucks to see.”
I reiterate, this civic party has been in power for 11 years and signs of corruption have been visible from the very beginning of this mayors first coming to power so how come no provincial party did anything and I do not mean only the Liberals? How does everyone in Quebec politics over the last 11 years get to say we did not know, when Macleans could see it and the rest of the world called Quebec on it? Are all Quebec politicians deaf, blind and dumb, or are all Quebec politicians that incompetent? Either way I could not see myself voting for anyone of those politicians that have been around for the last 11 years actively in Quebec’s politics, no matter what political party they are in.
- Denis Coderre dismisses fundraising links to construction and engineering firms (o.canada.com)
- Quebecer’s Holding Their Breath And Trying To Survive Until Tomorrow (archemdis.com)
- Does being in politics mean never having to say you’re sorry? (macleans.ca)
- Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay resigns (vancouversun.com)