11/11/2012 10:57 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Quebec hackers tackle corruption issues

Some software engineers and computer programmers from around Quebec are trying to develop software to help fight corruption in politics.

Jonathan Brun, co-founder of Quebec Ouvert, said the goal is to make information more accessible to the public.

"What people are doing this weekend is trying to connect those databases using intelligent software and tools that allow you to detect when, for example, a cost overrun happens on a project," said Brun.

People at Hacking Corruption 2012 said they hope to develop new programs to increase transparency in the awarding of contracts. The programs would gather information about party financing and look at patterns in the connections with organizations, people and projects.

"I think there's a major change, and that's why having citizens… getting involved means that we might be going through a new era," said Jacques Duchesneau, former head of the province's anti-corruption unit.

Duchesneau said he hopes the citizen initiative will help fight what he called a "tsunami of corruption."

Recent allegations at the province's corruption inquiry into the construction industry have outlined an entrenched system of contract fraud and political corruption.

Montreal's mayor stepped down last week amid claims he turned a blind eye to illegal financing in his party.

Gilles Vaillancourt, the mayor of Laval, followed suit on Nov. 9 after the province's anti-corruption unit conducted raids on his home, office and bank accounts.

Hacking Corruption 2012 ends today at the Sainte-Catherine d'Alexandrie community centre on Amherst Street.