Corruption by the numbers

Photo by Madelayne Hajek
Photo by Madelayne Hajek

24-25 – The number, in billions, awarded in public contracts every year by the provincial government.

1 – The anti-corruption bill tabled by the Parti Québécois in an effort to eliminate collusion in the public sector and clean up municipal offices. To ensure that the public tendering of contracts is fair, the provincial government’s legislation aims to subject companies to a screening process to prove they are honest and free of corruption.

2 – The number of mayors who resigned as a result of the testimonies implicating them in the Charbonneau Commission. Following allegations of corruption within the Union Montreal, Gérald Tremblay stepped down from his position of the mayor of Montreal Nov. 5 following an extended vacation. Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt ended a 23-year career when he stepped down Friday, Nov. 9.

2.5 – Construction boss Lino Zambito accused Vaillancourt of taking 2.5 per cent of every public contract for his own gain. According to Zambito’s testimony, Vaillancourt pocketed the money as kickbacks.

76, 83, 45 – In a Léger Marketing poll for the Journal de Montréal Oct. 31, with a total number of 629 participants, 76 per cent felt it was necessary for Tremblay to resign. Additionally, 83 per cent felt Tremblay’s budget proposal for 2013 including an increase in municipal taxes by 3.3 per cent was unacceptable and 45 per cent of participants felt it was impossible to eliminate the Mafia’s presence in the construction industry in Quebec.

99 – The difference of votes that saw Vision Montréal’s Cindy Leclerc win a byelection in Rivière-des-Prairies Nov. 11 over Union Montréal’s Nino Colavecchio. The results mean that Union Montréal will have less power in City Hall after its opposition campaigned heavily on integrity. Approximately 21 per cent of the borough’s population voted in the byelection.

$700,000 – The approximate total in thousands of dollars that retired city engineer, Gilles Surprenant, received in bribes. Initially, Surprenant testified to taking $600,000 in kickbacks and blowing a portion of it gambling but the actual number was closer to $700,000.

91 – The number of contracts that Surprenant worked on during his career as a city engineer. Throughout a nine-year period spanning from 2000 to 2009, Surprenant fixed a total of 91 contracts and the cost of public works initiatives and projects rose by as much as 35 per cent.


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