It's time to demand more transparency. This is our money. We should know how it's being spent. Our duty as voters doesn't end in the ballot booth. We need to demand accountability and a much more open government. Any conflict of interest should be exposed immediately.
Corruption takes many forms: the theft of public resources; the sale of political influence; the betrayal of the public trust. In all cases, however, corruption thrives when political power is able to operate in the shadows, and it withers before the glare of public scrutiny.
The ongoing Charbonneau Commission investigating Montreal's construction industry is showing all of Canada just how rotten the city is. Lalonde's testimony in particular and the Charboneau Commission in general are proving our worst fears about politics and business -- that they are inseparable, are both populated by crooks and the rest of us are paying for it.
On Monday, Montreal's hapless, shaky, angry, and white-haired mayor, Gérald Tremblay, resigned in disgrace. It's no big surprise, really. Gérald had been fighting corruption allegations for years, always claiming that he knew nothing about any corruption seeping into Montreal's municipal politics. Even the most casual city observer would call utter bullshit on that. The mayor's position really became untenable last week when a former top aide, Martin Dumont, dished the goods in front of the Charbonneau Commission, which has been overturning dirty rocks to uncover the filthy world of Montreal's construction contracts.