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Where there is corruption, things happen. Where there is no hint of corruption – like the West Island – public projects get stalled. Think there’s a link?

There is nothing quite like a scandal that goes right to the top, right to the highest echelons of power and influence.

That is what we are experiencing right now as the Charbonneau Commission into corruption in the construction industry continues to make headlines day after day. The mayors of Montreal and Laval have been sidelined by the allegations brought up in testimony. As taxpayers, the questions many of us are asking is: Where is this all going to lead? How will it end? What will be done?

It’s not clear. But with every passing day there are more questions. Could we be on the verge of a major tax revolt? After last summer’s students demonstrations, could homeowners be next to pick up the pots and pans?

Think that is a little far-fetched? How else will such systematic corruption be stopped?

The latest budget unveiled by Montreal has taxes going up. It appears that the decision-makers at Montreal city hall have no shame. While the commission is painting us a picture of the web of corruption and collusion that is costing us millions of dollars, they appear to believe it’s still business as usual. And don’t kid yourself, West Islanders will be paying for this. The agglomeration siphons in roughly half of our municipal tax dollars.

As a taxpayer, if you’re not riled up yet, brace yourself. One of the emerging pictures coming out of the corruption hearings is the links that exist between a growing cast of players. These players hold the levers of power, influence and coercion that get things done.

Now think about all the projects that don’t get done. We keep asking ourselves why hasn’t the métro system been expanded to the West Island? Why can’t we even get a decent commuter train service? We have the airport out here, yet, public transit is deplorable.

Laval gets the métro stations.

Why can’t the West Island get a much-needed new north-south artery to relieve traffic congestion?

Laval got a new bridge. The South Shore has got Highway 30.

Seeing another link?

John Abbott College in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue builds a new state-of-the-art Science and Technologies building with next to no public money and does it on time and on budget.

The cost of the Montreal hospitals are ballooning and the police corruption squad is raiding their offices.

Where there is corruption, things happen. Where there is no hint of corruption, public projects don’t happen.

Now, as a taxpayer, are you getting riled? Are you looking for a pot or pan now?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Brenda O’Farrell

5 comments

  1. In 2010, Kirkland Town Hall spent close to THREE MILLION DOLLARS on their municipal library face lift. For a town with 22 thousand residents, this money should buy a complete library, books included.
    For those who are not familiar with the contract signed by the Town Hall – and that includes the Charbonneau Commission – these figures may sound interesting:
    $2,686,468.96 – total cost of renovation of the library serving only 21 thousand residents;
    $97,828.76 – additionally spent by the Town Council for the production of custom made furniture for the municipal library refurbishing;
    $49,912.30 – cost of the new shelves installed in Kirkland library in 2010.

  2. I think we all know there is also a provincial political connection when it comes to West Island projects and money. When the government wants our votes they do things. For example, why would the liberals do anything in the West Island if they already have the majority vote here. Then again, why would the PQ do anything in the West Island when they have no chance of winning the vote here. Lastly the CAQ has to be in power to be able to offer anything so they are automatically out of the equation. So I guess you are right, if we had corruption, things might get done.

  3. Strange things are happening in SteAnne de Bellevue. Land deals. Fortunes spent on toilets. Construction that never ends. It would be nice for the commission to investigate here as well. As a taxpayer I’m tired of being at the mercy of crooked politicians and the mafia.

  4. Senneville a 1.8 million dollar chalet the mayor and a couple of councillors keeps trying to hide the numbers and the way the money was spent, this should be investageted as it seems that when add all the parts together it is not 1 million as the mayor keeps saying. they all like to split it up to hide cost and corruption.

  5. No corruption on the West Island? That is hilarious. The corruption on the West Island makes Montreal look like a bunch of choir boys. Jacques Duchesneau has said the best is yet to come. Stay tuned.

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