Postscript: Your money pays corrupt officials
By Barry Wilson, CTV Montreal Executive Producer, OPINION
Published Friday, October 26, 2012 12:47PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 26, 2012 4:52PM EDT
It’s come to the point where we live in a culture of victimization.
So many people refuse to accept responsibility and call themselves victims.
It was almost stomach-turning to hear retired Montreal engineer Gilles Surprenant blame everyone but himself for his trail of lies and deceit.
‘It was the system,’ he says. ‘It was the contractors,’ he says. ‘It wasn’t his fault,’ he proclaims with a straight face.
He has the audacity to justify his wrongdoing by testifying that he returned money to the taxpayers by spending some of it at the casino.
The hockey tickets he received? Not really the best seats he joked.
$736,000 in bribes just for Surprenant. $736,000 of your money.
But for him and countless others, that’s the way to do business in Quebec. C'est normale.
I sometimes wonder if anyone dealing with public contracts and big money in this province is honest.
I like to believe that there are people out there who put the public interest above private greed.
We should be angry, very angry about this deceitful system of collusion.
Because you and I pay for it.
Look at your tax bill. You already pay too much because of over-bloated bureaucracies and huge payrolls.
Your hard earned money goes to grease the pockets of corrupt officials.
And here’s the thing: we overpay for lousy work. No one can convince me that the quality of road and infrastructure work in Quebec is as good as our neighbours in Ontario or New York or Vermont.
It’s disgusting and perhaps on your tax bill there should be a special box for your corruption contribution, and all of this is happening with the backing and blessing of organized crime.
It is equally disgraceful to see Lino Zambito as some sort of knight in shining armor with his tell-all accounts.
He has become a bit of cause-celebre on the French talk shows.
But he was the problem.
He was crooked as they come.
We should not praise him for having the decency to testify and name names.
On the political level where is the responsibility?
I do not believe that Mayor Tremblay personally benefitted from this, but not knowing or not wanting to know is disgraceful. Ignorance is not bliss.
Obviously his political career is over.
In Laval, the mayor is off for health reasons. It seems doubtful he will return.
It is important to point out that neither mayor is facing any charges…yet.
It’s a sad spectacle unfolding and rightfully our anger should grow because it will only get worse.
The real question is, will we as a population have the resolve and the courage to eventually make it better. Can we be better?