The Battle Against Corruption Begins!

by Dimitri Marinis on February 27, 2013 - 6:15pm

          Rene Bruemmer from the Montreal Gazette writes about the new anti corruption squad inMontreal on January 23rd, 2013 as well as Sue Montgomery from the Montreal gazette writes aboutmunicipal workers who are “ratting out” their colleagues and the importance of funding these squads onJanuary 31st, 2013. In Roman David’s academic journal titled “Transitions to Clean Government:Amnesty as an Anticorruption Measure” from the Australian Journal of Political Science Vol. 45, No. 3,September 2010, pp. 391–406.

          Bruemmer’s article announces the new anti corruption squad to be built in Montreal. Announced on January the 18th, this squad is going to be built up of 20 members that will specificallydeal with corruption; especially that in the construction industry. It’s estimated to cost of 3 million$ ayear, to pay the wages of the officials and rent office space, but it’s expected that the squad will savethe city around 20 million$ a year. Bruemmer says “The Montreal police force has a strong knowledge oforganized crime in Montreal, and of the Mafia and people who associate with the Mafia,” Applebaumsaid. “I think they will do an excellent job”. In Montgomery’s article, she writes about municipal workerswho are ratting out their colleagues. Before the anti corruption squad has even been created,government officials are receiving phone calls that are immensely helping the fight with corruption. TheMontreal chief of police said “I think people want to contribute and give information about what they’reseeing or what they’ve seen in the past”. It’s obvious that the Montreal Police will take any help theycan get in this fight against political corruption. They have set up a confidential phone line for theprotection of the citizens. Parent emphasizes the importance of funding from the Harper governmentconsidering that it made up most of the financial assistance. According to Parent, he believes the antigang squad has made a difference. With 540 arrests last summer and the ceasing of 40 firearms it’s clearthat the squad is making a difference. David’s academic journal belongs to the field of transitionaljustice. He proposes 2 solutions to the problem of anti corruption using Hong-Kong as an example.David says” the factors which lead to the establishment of clean government differ from those that keep government clean. The factors that keep government clean are necessary, but not sufficient, fortransformation towards clean government”. David views corruption as a social problem and stresses thefact that it is social; not an individualistic problem. David also says how “the probability of being caughtis very low”. He proposes amnesty as a solution to the corruption problem.


          To conclude, an amnesty would not be an ideal solution to battle corruption in politics and inconstruction. I do believe that David dissected the problem of corruption and made his point by sayinghow battling corruption won’t stop it all together. It must be dealt with from the core and kept up. I dobelieve the anti-corruption squad is a good idea and all the money invested will make a huge difference.As for the “snitches”, the police force should accept any help that they can get, and should accept thetestimonies of the government officials who rat out their colleagues.  A pardon or amnesty could beconsidered, but it all depends on the situation and the consequences.



You chose a very interesting topic to write about. I wasn’t aware that there was something being done about the corruption of Montreal as a whole and it surprises me that people are calling in corrupt workers. Many times, people only think about how to better themselves and not the community, but your article proves me wrong. I find it amazing that Montreal is taking the initiative to create an “anti-corruption squad” to better society.   You thoroughly understood the article and have summed it up quite nicely.  Your English vocabulary is fluent and flows nicely on the screen.

                I have found an article titled “New process to limit corruption leading to contract backlog” by the same journalist, René Bruemmer. This article can be considered to be the epilogue of the news article you have chosen. It states a major problem that the “anti-corruption squad” is creating, the stoppage of civil constructions: “Montreal only managed to complete 52 per cent of the work planned in 2012 under its three-year capital-works program, city officials noted. No work has been completed this year”. The city does not wish to pay a corrupted company to build civil structures and this has slowed down all construction throughout Montreal. So the question is, should the city fight corruption and have rundown buildings, or should the city let the corruption continue and have beautiful, brand-new buildings? 

First of all, I would like to start off by saying that the content of this post was really illuminating and relevant to me because I am totally concerned by the organized crimes in Montreal and elsewhere in Canada. I have previously written three posts about Montreal’s Mafia and street gangs. In both of them, I insisted on the fact that more money needs to be invested by the government in this field because organized crimes do not only touch the people involved in them. In fact, organized crimes have an impact on every single person who is part of this community and the number of death related to this issue is unacceptably high. I believe that the idea of the Anti-Corruption Squad you treated in your article is more than brilliant and is what Montreal needs for the moment. I appreciated how you showed and developed more than one dimension of this subject and how you contrasted the “before and after” of the situation.  I found an article that portrays this same situation in another Canadian province on the CBC News website written and published by CBC News on the 7thof March 2013. According to this article, during the last four years, the federal government invested $9 million to fight organized crimes in New Brunswick. The provincial government used this money to hire 21 RCMP and municipal police officers. This investment was really fruitful because since the start of this program, 40 people or groups that were related to organized crimes have been arrested. However, this funding will expire at the end of the month of March, 2013.  Now the New Brunswick government is in a very critical position because he will have to decide if he will continue funding this program or not. I consider this as a critical decision because not only the future of the province depends on it but the future of the entire country and its population. I believe this article is very really relevant because it complements your super post. It illustrates the exact same idea you are treating in your article but in another province. You can also reflect and think critically about the important decision that will be taken in the upcoming days concerning the funding of this program based on all the knowledge and the information you have acquired during the redaction of your super post and the research you completed.

I believe that your summary reflects well what many people were thinking about the eventuality of a Commission to fight corruption at the time. However, the Commission is now a reality and the work they have done is significant, but they are still below our expectations. Here is a link to an article about the last report made by the Charbonneau Corruption. It’ll show you how things have turned out a year after your summary.