WTF: the rest of the week in news

Wondering WTF happened this week? We’ve got it all, from the latest in “Who’s Quittin’ Now” news to exclusive clubs to accepting our one true leader.

Montreal, prepare to be hypnotized

We told you the SNC-Lavalin story would just keep getting juicier. This week, former CEO Pierre Duhaime was arrested on fraud charges concerning alleged bid-rigging in the MUHC superhospital contract. If the Charbonneau commission ever gets any of these engineering firm bigwigs on the stand, watch the entire house of cards crumble like a Quebec overpass.

It seems the Montreal municipal government is a revolving door of Tremblays. Yesterday it was revealed Gérald’s little bro (and former Union Montreal councillor) Marcel got picked by Michael Applebaum to hold the interim city mayor’s purse in NDG-CDN until he returns to reclaim his west end throne.

Before joining — and, as of yesterday, resigning from — the Parti Québécois, now former environment minister Daniel Breton earned his living as an activist in the Quebec environmental movement. So it’s not exactly a shocker that he had trouble paying his rent from time to time. And if failing to file your income tax on time is a crime, well, lock us up and throw away the key. And a little EI fraud? Psht, whatever. But getting nailed for driving 275 km/h on highway 401 in his Porsche and admitting that his family used to get police friends to close off a stretch of Sherbrooke E. so that they could drag race? Off with his head(lights).

And in other “Who’s Quittin’ Now” news, Mascouche mayor Richard Marcotte announced today he’s leaving office via exclusive interview to the local newspaper. So creative! Can’t wait ‘til they start hologramming resignations.

Unlike Quebec’s mayors, who know when (and how!) to fold ’em, Toronto’s Rob Ford is still struggling to stay in the game after a judge found him guilty of conflict of interest on Monday. Vice Canada has come up with a nice compendium of the mayor’s woes.

The latest name being bandied about as a potential Montreal mayor for 2013 is former Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe, for whom La Presse columnist François Cardinal makes a convincing case. And, you know, who needs to get nominated when you can run first, join a party later? So, Montreal, prepare to be hypnotized by Duceppe’s piercing, soul-crushing clear blue eyes. You will make sure all business signage is cleansed of the scourge that is the English language. You will sing Charles Aznavour songs at Christmas. Your kids will meditate at school.

Few Cult MTL readers had likely heard of Club 357C until the Charbonneau Commission this week released a list of politicians who’d met there privately with construction and engineering firm honchos. The exclusive club’s policy of logging guests and their hosts made it easy pickings for investigators looking into possible corruption. But that won’t happen again! The club has learned its lesson and changed its policy so that the records will now be destroyed immediately after each event.

Though the SPVM and SQ already do tradesies on investigations into their respective police forces, police investigating police is probably not the best idea ever. And so the Quebec government had moved forward with Bill 12, which will create the first civilian police oversight board in the province’s history. It puts a little ACAB in the PQ, n’est-ce pas? ■

This week’s WTF was written by Peter Wheeland and Tracey Lindeman


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