I can’t go a day without hearing of some politician from the south getting blasted in every medium over the corruption and collusion scandals that have hit the Montreal area during the last several months. What really gets me is that this corruption has happened over and over again and no one really did anything about it, even though they knew about it. I have a friend in city council in Montreal who once told me that there was so much corruption that he felt like bailing out, but held on to ensure that his district wouldn’t be hit with these problems by his successor, so he is still a city councillor and a good one at that.
Now, that makes me think about closer to home and right in the communities – does this happen in our own backyard? Are there homegrown corruption scandals and corruptors to uproot and expose? Considering that we didn’t really have any real share of any construction contracts for the first development of the James Bay Project, which cost nearly 20 billion smackaroos to build, what of the more recent undertakings?
Take for example, all the housing contracts over the last 30 years, averaging 200 grand per, times 400 homes built a year. That equals about $2.4 billion. Wow, gimme a piece of that pie! And that’s just the small stuff! What about all those major buildings? Let’s see now, eight times new band offices and other large things times (let’s say) $5 million per band office and $5 million for other things equals an awful lot of moolah. Then there’s two entire communities, Chisasibi and Oujé and perhaps, in the future, a small little hamlet of Washaw Sibi.
This adds up to a lot of market potential for corruption possibilities. I know that we are audited time and time again, so it would have to be a pretty slick operator to fool the auditors. Or is it? Most auditors just give an expressed opinion and never really audit books in detail, unless of course, it is beneficial to them to make entries to correct things or to prove their worth when it comes to verification of everything, which of course, costs oodles of money. So either way, it costs a lot to ensure that the projects are carried out according to plan.
Speaking of plans, when do contractors actually stick to the plan at hand? Only when there are a lot of inspectors around and the client is some huge mega corporation who wants to make sure they can’t be sued for any problems arising from their undertakings. So we don’t fit in that picture (yet). But we do fit in the picture as contractors, which may lead to conflicts when it comes to awarding contracts locally. So this is still fertile ground for collusion. Since nearly everyone in power is aware of all the facts and can pass the details on to family and friendly companies for a favour or two… accidently and coincidently, or course.
So, where does that bring us in this situation? It is perhaps something we should look at more closely. The lessons from Montreal should wake us up and force us to take a closer look at ourselves to see if there are situations similar to those of the southern areas. Bwuhaaahaahaa… (said with an evil cackle).