The CCCC had the right idea when it tried to get Joseph “Donny Brasco” Pistone to speak at their cosy commiserations. A sprinkling of star power always adds flavour to the proceedings. But who knew that by blabbing his coming-out party to every hit man salivating at the $500,000 contract out on him, Joe would be a no-show? (Yeah, right.)
But all is not lost. We can still salvage the show by incorporating some pizazz.
- Invite Johnny Depp to speak instead. If he can’t make it, try Joe Pesci or Robert DeNiro. (Can you just see DeNiro answering a question with, “You talkin’ to me?”)
- Everyone in attendance should wear black suits and ties, hats and shades like the Blues Brothers, with violin cases. It could be a costume party like Comiccon only without the Star Wars characters. That way, you can’t tell the real hoodlums from the whistleblowers.
- Have some Godfather soundtrack playing in the background.
- To augment the doctorates who lecture on the history of the mob, have movie breaks like Goodfellows and The Departed.
- Have a raffle. The winner goes on a cruise on the yacht of a local contractor.
- All name tags should include nicknames like “Lady Ga-ga-gavel” Charbonneau or “Duke” Duchesneau.
- Have the commissioner Tweet while sitting in the sessions.
- Force all likely suspects to travel to downtown Montreal from the West Island on a Saturday at noon. After they are detoured up Decarie and across Sherbrooke Street for two hours in traffic maybe they will appreciate what we go through.
- Have an entire day devoted to the subject of “Asphalt: Why Does it only Last a Year in Montreal?” or “Falling Concrete: Act of God?”
- Invite Jean Charest as a special guest. He’s not doing much these days.
- Show live anti-corruption (UPAC) squad raids in real time to add some drama to the sessions. These visitations should include such places as political party headquarters, various nefarious businesses and the occasional Tim Horton’s.
- Increase your viewership: Have sessions dedicated to each province, some apparently as infiltrated as Quebec, and I am sure people would want to know the details about the kickbacks involved in the new petunias planted behind the Anne of Green Gable House.
- Make “naming names” like a game show: Have a panel blindfolded like on What’s My Line and then bring in corrupt officials and crime heads and have panelists guess who they are.
And on a fascinating note:
As quoted in Maclean’s on Oct. 16, 2009: “François Beaudry, a former consultant with Quebec’s deputy minister of transport, says the firms are controlled by the mafia and use a fictitious golf game to rig the bids. For example, an anonymous contractor says the organizer of the “game” would tell the other companies that nine players would be leaving from the fourth hole at 11 o’clock. In this case, the “fourth hole” represents $4 million and “nine players” indicates $900,000, meaning the winning bid would be $4.9 million. “Competing” companies would therefore have to bid above that.”
Mayor Tremblay was supposedly not surprised by the above-mentioned report since the company executives involved are generally notorious for late tee-offs.