What can you buy with 45 million Canadian dollars ?

You can buy yourself a 1749 page inquiry into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry. It contains 60 recommendations  from Justice France Charbonneau. This report is four years in the making, 291 witnesses over 261 days of testimony, 66,000 pages of transcripts, 2,756 documents tabled during the inquiry, and met with 1,400 people over the course of their investigation. 

While we have an array in choice of useless projects and initiatives that the Quebec government has taken part of , this one takes the proverbial cake. This report is not worth the paper that it was written on (or laptop). In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that corruption will continue and probably strive moving forward. We have a proud history of corruption in Quebec that dates back to the construction of the Olympic Stadium. Do you honestly think this report will do anything to stem this ? 

The Liberal government is probably filling out their speech templates as we speak:

“Justice Charbonneau, thank you for your hard work and we will certainly put in place all the recommendations that were brought forth in your report”

BULLSHIT ! the speech should read as follows “Justice Charbonneau, fuck that commission was entertaining. Thank for the laughs and for throwing 45 million dollars down the drain. We had no choice to make you finish the report since the previous Liberal government launched the inquiry. Now go enjoy yourself in Florida for some fun and sun and a well deserved vacation”

Let’s take a look at a few recommendations which include:

-Creation of an independent authority to oversee public contracts.

-Better protection for whistleblowers.

-Requirement that construction companies report acts of intimidation or violence.

-Increased penalties for construction companies which break the law, up to and including cancelling their licence under Quebec’s building authority, la Régie du bâtiment du Québec.

-Increased penalties for people who make use of so-called “strawman” schemes.

HOLY SHIT ! This is the best you can do for 45 million dollars ? I would have done it for 1% of that and probably only needed between 5-10 pages. No need for an inquiry, just a few phone calls and a few meetings with a few “friends of mine”.

Tomorrow morning, life will go on and we will have already long forgotten about this report. It will be just another page in the ugly Quebec history books. Another scar on our already horrid reputation in infrastructure and construction spending.  

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