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Corruption In Montreal

November 7, 2012 by  

Corruption In Montreal, Montreal’s mayor, Gérald Tremblay, resigned Monday evening in the midst of an eyebrow-raising inquiry that has revealed widespread corruption among city officials, contractors and members of organized crime.

The hearings have not demonstrated that Mr. Tremblay, who has been mayor of Montreal, Canada’s second-largest city, since 2001, directly benefited from the corruption. But one former mayoral aide, who was later a policy adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, testified that Mr. Tremblay knowingly turned a blind eye to illegal fund-raising activities by his Union Montréal political party. Its efforts that were so successful, the aide said, that the party’s safe became so overstuffed with $100 and $1,000 bills that its door would not close.

While rumors about corruption have surrounded Mr. Tremblay and several other politicians in Quebec for years, testimony at the public inquiry, commonly known as the Charbonneau Commission for its president, Justice France Charbonneau, suggested that its extent may be far greater than imagined. The testimony has also provided a glimpse into the mechanics of Quebec-style corruption.

Mr. Tremblay is the first politician to resign because of the inquiry, which is far from over. But some observers suggest that it was the issue of corruption that fueled the widespread student protests earlier this year and that the issue also led to the defeat of the Liberal provincial government, which had reluctantly assigned Ms. Charbonneau to examine the problem.

In May, a special anticorruption police squad arrested Frank Zampino, who was once Mr. Tremblay’s closest political ally at City Hall, and charged him with fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust related to a $300 million municipal contract.

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