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Found 17 results

  1. Comme de quoi qu'on est pas les seuls à subir l'incompétence, le mauvais jugement et la corruption. Mais le National Post, mon Quebec basher préféré mets çà sur le dos du parti des libellules ontariennes, son deuxième souffre-douleur. Chris Selley: Auditor general reveals astonishing details of the Ontario Liberals’ infrastructure incompetence
  2. Since I don not have permission to post in les Discussions Politiques(Whatever!!) I wanted to post this advertisement for anyone in the forum that would like an insider's opinion. Paul Sauvé has come out with a book on the construction industry. Should make for interesting reading. He was also pushing his book today at noon with Mutsumi Takahashi on CTV Montreal. L'Industrie de la corruption Par paul sauvé EN SAVOIR PLUS Résumé Dans ce témoignage percutant, basé sur son expérience personnelle, Paul Sauvé lève le voile sur ce qu'il nomme lui-même « une machine corrompue ». De la collusion au crime organisé, en passant par le principe de fausses facturations, le lobbyisme illégal et le financement des partis politiques, Paul Sauvé n'épargne personne en décrivant dans le détail les méthodes répréhensibles de cette industrie florissante. Détails Prix : 19,95 $ Catégorie : Essais canadiens Auteur : paul sauvé PAUL SAUVÉ Titre : L'Industrie de la corruption Date de parution : novembre 2011 Éditeur : VLB Sujet : SOCIOLOGIE/CRIMINALITE ISBN : 9782896493166 (2896493166) Référence Renaud-Bray : 110042392 No de produit : 1210128
  3. Le conglomérat allemand a été condamné pour avoir eu recours à la corruption afin d'obtenir des contrats. Pour en lire plus...
  4. Les entreprises d'ici, avec celles de la Belgique, sont considérées comme les moins susceptibles de verser des pots-de-vin à l'étranger, selon l'Indice de Corruption de l'organisme Transparency International. Pour en lire plus...
  5. Quel choix de sujet pour l'article sur Montreal cette semaine dans la section CITIES dans The Guardian quand on compare avec l'article publie sur Toronto ! Jack Todd me déçoit beaucoup ! Welcome to the new Toronto: the most fascinatingly boring city in the world https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jul/04/new-toronto-most-fascinatingly-boring-city-guardian-canada-week https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jul/06/40-year-hangover-1976-olympic-games-broke-montreal-canada?CMP=fb_a-cities_b-gdncities#comments Cities Guardian Canada week The 40-year hangover: how the 1976 Olympics nearly broke Montreal The Montreal Olympics left the city with a C$1.6bn debt, a string of corruption scandals, and a creeping sense of economic and social decline. Forty years on, how did the city survive? Mayor Jean Drapeau stands in the Olympic Stadium, Montreal. Photograph: Graham Bezant/Toronto Star/Getty Cities is supported by Jack Todd in Montreal Wednesday 6 July 2016 07.30 BSTLast modified on Wednesday 6 July 201611.17 BST Shares 714 Comments 93 Save for later There is a moment before all our global sporting extravaganzas when it all seems poised on a knife edge. Helicopters hover above the stadium, keyed-up athletes shuffle and bounce with excess energy, and organisers bite their nails as they try to hold down nervous stomachs, worried that despite years of planning and the expenditure of billions, it will all go desperately wrong. Then the trumpets sound, thousands of young people take part in colourful charades, pop stars fight a losing battle with hopeless stadium acoustics – and the Games begin. The formula is pretty much set in stone, but in 1976 Montreal added a wrinkle. On 17 July, with Queen Elizabeth, Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau and 73,000 people looking on, the Greek athletes who traditionally led the Parade of Nations came up the ramp toward the Olympic stadium to find their way almost blocked by construction workers. Out of sight of the cameras and the throng inside the stadium, the staff were frantically wielding shovels and brooms to clear away the building debris left from the manic push to complete the facility on time. In the final scrambling months before the Games, 3,000 labourers had worked in teams 24 hours a day to make it possible for the Olympics to begin at all. They barely succeeded. Two weeks later, when the last athlete had gone home, Montreal woke up to what remains the worst hangover in Olympic history: not just a bill that came in at 13 times the original estimate, a string of officials convicted of breach of trust and the greatest white elephant of a stadium ever built, but a creeping sense of economic and social decline. Forty years on, no other Olympics has so thoroughly broken a city. Facebook Twitter Pinterest The opening ceremony of the 1976 Montreal Games. Photograph: Tony Duffy/Getty Images*** Advertisement When I arrived in Montreal five years earlier, a war resister from Nebraska with little French and less money, the city was enduring its harshest winter on record. Montreal would receive more than 152 inches of snow in 1970-71, including a March blizzard that killed 17 people. The endless snow, in a sense, was a mercy. It turned down the heat on the city’s simmering political crisis, which had boiled over the previous Octoberwhen the terrorist Front du Libération du Quebec (FLQ) kidnapped the British consul, James Cross, and the province’s minister of justice, Pierre Laporte. Prime minister Trudeau responded by imposing martial law. Armoured personnel carriers patrolled the streets and troops detained hundreds of people without charges. The FLQ would murder Laporte on 17 October. They released Cross on 3 December, effectively ending the crisis but leaving the city battered, bruised and tense. Even before the kidnappings, Montreal was jittery from a series of FLQ bombs: 95 in total, the largest of which blew out the northeast wall of the Montreal Stock Exchange. And yet, in those years, the best place to get a sense of what Montreal was and might have been was Le Bistro. It was really Chez Lou Lou, although no one called it that, and it featured more or less authentic Parisian ambience, right down to the surly French waiters. When I could afford it, Le Bistro was my favourite destination on a weekend morning. One especially frigid Saturday, Leonard Cohen sat at the next table with a blonde companion, both of them sporting deepwater tans from the Greek islands, looking blasé about it all. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Leonard Cohen was born in Westmount, Montreal. Photograph: Roz Kelly/Getty ImagesMontrealers could afford to be blasé. The city was everything that Toronto, its rival, 300 miles to the south-west, was not: urbane, sophisticated, hip, a place where you could dine well and party until the bars closed at 3am. In Toronto, they rolled up the streets at 11pm and toasted the Queen at public functions. Montreal was not just the financial capital of Canada, it was also the most European of North American cities, half English-speaking but overwhelmingly French, profoundly cultured and unfailingly elegant, where the old stone of the cathedrals met the Bauhaus steel-and-glass towers of Mies van der Rohe’s Westmount Square. The crowd at Le Bistro was a cross-section of cultural and political life in a city full of tensions, between separatism and federalism, English, French and Jewish, old money and new. There were political tensions that seemed to feed a creative ferment home that produced Cohen, the bombastic poet Irving Layton, the acerbic novelist Mordecai Richler, the politicians Pierre Trudeau and René Lévesque, the actor Geneviève Bujold and the film-maker Denys Arcand. The Olympics can no more run a deficit than a man can have a baby Jean Drapeau, in 1970 When, on 12 May 1970, during the 69th session of the International Olympic Committee held in Amsterdam, Montreal won out over competing bids from Moscow and Los Angeles to be awarded the Games of the XXI Olympiad, it seemed to signal another triumph. The city had hosted one of the most successful World’s Fairs ever in 1967, and a new baseball team, the Expos, began play in 1969, defeating the St Louis Cardinals 8-7 on 14 April at Jarry Park in the first regular season Major League game in Canada. Following those triumphs, the Olympics were sold to the Montreal public as being modest in design and, above all, inexpensive to stage. The mayor, Jean Drapeau – diminutive, autocratic, mustachioed – declared: “The Olympics can no more run a deficit than a man can have a baby.” *** Facebook Twitter Pinterest Leger (left) and Drapeau (right), listen as Taillibert describes the layout of Parc Olympique. Photograph: Bettmann/Bettmann ArchiveThe 1970 estimate was that the Games would cost C$120m (£65m) in total, with $71m budgeted for the Olympic Stadium itself. Drapeau took a personal hand in the stadium’s design. He and his chief engineer, Claude Phaneuf, selected the French architect Roger Taillibert, who had built the Parc des Princes in Paris and would also design the Olympic Village. Taillibert employed his own team of architects and engineers, and was respected for bringing in projects at, or at least near, budget. (The Parc des Princes, originally budgeted at $12m, cost $18m .) His conception for the “Big O” stadium was grandiose, in a style that might be called space-age fascist: it featured an enormous, inclined tower, the tallest such structure in the world, holding a retractable roof suspended from thick cables and looming over the stadium like a praying mantis over a turtle. There is no evidence, however, that either Taillibert or Drapeau ever had a handle on the management of the various construction sites. There were delays from the very beginning, and construction on the Olympic Park complex (including the Velodrome and Big O) began 18 months late, on 28 April 1973. This put Drapeau right where the powerful and militant Quebec labour unions (the Quebec Federation of Labour and the Confederation of National Trade Unions) wanted him: paying extravagant overtime bills. Out of a total of 530 potential working days between December 1974 and April 1976, the workers would be on strike for 155 days – 30% of the work time available. In one particularly crucial period of construction, from May until the end of October 1975, less than a year before the opening ceremonies were to commence, the unions walked off the job and no work was done at all. Oversight was utterly inadequate on every aspect of the project. During the inflationary 1970s, the price of structural steel alone tripled. In 1973, contractor Regis Trudeau, who had been awarded $6.9m in Olympic construction contracts, built a luxurious chalet costing $163,000 for Gerard Niding, who was Drapeau’s right-hand man and head of Montreal city council’s powerful executive committee. Only when a corruption commission forced his hand, five years later, did Trudeau finally produce a bill charging Niding for the house. Game off! Why the decline of street hockey is a crisis for our kids Read more By 1975, the provincial government had seen enough: they removed Taillibert and formed the Olympic Installations Board (pdf) (OIB) in an attempt to get a handle on the construction. Ironically, no one has since delivered a pithier assessment of the corruption than Taillibert himself. In 2011, he told le Devoir: “The construction of the Olympic Park and stadium showed me a level of organised corruption, theft, mediocrity, sabotage and indifference that I had never witnessed before and have never witnessed since. The system failed completely and every civil engineering firm involved knew they could just open this veritable cash register and serve themselves.” Drapeau himself was never charged or even suspected of personal corruption, but his remark about men having babies came back to haunt him. At the time, the physician Henry Morgentaler was much in the news for openly performing abortions. As the Olympic bill nearly tripled, to $310m, Montreal Gazette cartoonist Aislin drew one of the most famous cartoons of a brilliant career: it depicted a visibly pregnant Drapeau on the phone, saying: “‘Ello? Morgentaler?” *** When the Games finally opened, problems plagued the event itself, too. As it would do with debt, corruption and construction chaos, the Montreal Olympics inspired a trend in boycotts, when 22 African nations refused to participatebecause the IOC would not ban New Zealand for sending the All Blacks rugby team to tour apartheid South Africa. It caught on: western nations boycotted Moscow in 1980 over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and communist nations retaliated in Los Angeles in 1984. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Design Pics Inc/Alamy Stock PhotoMontreal also broke the mould in security. Following the terrorist tragedy at Munich four years earlier, the security bill ended up running to another $100m (more than 80% of what the entire event was initially supposed to cost), not including the cost of the Canadian forces enlisted to help keep order. Meanwhile, some of the athletes were tainted by accusations of doping, including legendary Finnish postman and distance runner Lasse Virén, who was suspected of transfusing his own blood – a practice that was legal at the time, though Viren has always denied it. Far more serious was the treatment of East German athletes, who dominated their events in part because, the world later learned, they’d been fed performance-enhancing drugs for decades, sometimes without their knowledge, under a programme known as State Plan 14.25. Many later suffered psychological problems and had children with birth defects. The struggle in Iqaluit: north and south collide in Canada's Arctic capital Read more In the end, the athletes themselves redeemed at least some portion of the Olympic expense: the Games themselves went off relatively well. If the relentlessly self-promoting American decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner caused a few eyeballs to roll, he was overshadowed by the refrigerator-built Soviet weightlifter Vasily Alekseyev, who repeated his heavyweight gold from Munich and set an Olympic record in the snatch while lifting 440kg. And in the first full day of competition, the 14-year-old diminutive Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci earned a perfect 10 on the uneven bars – she went on to become the 1976 Olympics’ unquestioned individual star. Canada, meanwhile, became the first host nation to fail to win a gold medal on home soil, a feat made no less exceptional for being repeated at the Calgary Winter Olympics 12 years later. The glow began to fade with the closing ceremonies on 1 August. The final tally of the cost for the Olympics was $1.6bn, a more than 13-fold increase, including at least $1.1bn for the stadium alone. In popular lore, the Big O had officially become the Big Owe. When all was said and done, the city was left with debt that took 30 years to pay off. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Nadia Comăneci, of Romania, dismounts during a perfect 10 performance. Photograph: Paul Vathis/AP*** On 15 November 1976, running on a platform of good government in the wake of the scandals and cost overruns, René Lévesque’s separatist Parti Québecois (PQ) won its first provincial election. The PQ’s promise to hold a referendum on leaving Canada touched off a full-scale anglophone panic in bilingual Montreal, especially within the business community. Sun Life, the huge insurance company, was the first of a stream of Montreal-based corporations to move down Highway 401 to Toronto. When the referendum was eventually held in 1980, Lévesque and the “yes” side lost decisively, but by the end of the 1980s Canada’s financial capital had shifted firmly from St Jacques Street to Bay Street, Toronto. Between 1971 and 1981, the English-speaking population of Montreal declined by nearly 100,000; over the next 20 years – which included another referendum in 1995, that only kept Quebec in Canada by a narrow margin of 50.6% to 49.4% – it would shrink by another 100,000. It would take 30 years for the city of Montreal to retire the Olympic debt Like some medieval castle under a warlock’s curse, the Olympic stadium – visible from dozens of different vantage points in the city, an inescapable reminder of what went wrong – continued to be plagued with problems. In the 1980s, the tower caught fire. In August of 1986, a chunk of it fell on to the baseball field, forcing the Expos to postpone a game. In September of 1991, a bigger 55-tonne concrete slab fell on to an empty walkway. The OIB reassured the public no one was underneath it, prompting one columnist to ask: “How do they know?” The retractable roof never happened; instead, an orange Kevlar roof was finally installed in April of 1987. It tore repeatedly, until it was replaced in 1998 by a fixed roof, which cost another $37m. In the winter of the next year, that roof tore under a heavy snow load, sending a small avalanche of ice cascading on to workers preparing for a motor show. To this day, in a northern Canadian city that averages roughly 50cm of snow a month in winter, the Olympic Stadium cannot be used if the snow load exceeds 3cm. The OIB claims the only thing more expensive than a permanent steel roof (estimated cost: $200m-$300m) would be to tear the whole thing down (estimated cost: $1bn). Their figure has been widely debunked. The roof remains in place, and the Big O now lacks a full-time tenant: the Expos played their last game in 2004 and the franchise moved to Washington DC. Facebook Twitter Pinterest The 200,000 sq ft, 65-tonne Kevlar roof at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal was expected to last 25 years. Photograph: Shaun Best/ReutersThe stadium aside, Montreal did get some bang for its Olympic buck. The excellent Claude Robillard Sports Centre in the city’s north end is still used by thousands of athletes, and the one-time Velodrome has been converted to the Biodome, an enormously popular indoor nature museum. The claim has also been made that the Montreal Olympics proper turned a profit, which is true only if you chalk up the various purpose-built venues, the stadium in particular, to infrastructure. In any case, it would take 30 years for the city of Montreal to retire the Olympic debt. A commission headed by superior court judge Albert Malouf to probe Olympic corruption spent three years, and another $3m, before releasing a 908-page report in 1980 that laid blame squarely at the feet of the mayor. Taillibert, Phaneuf and others shared some of the responsibility, in Malouf’s view, but Drapeau was the principal culprit, with his hands-on style and his habit of turning a blind eye to the shenanigans around him. Top officials and contractors were convicted of fraud and corruption. They included Niding, Drapeau’s right-hand man, who was convicted of breach of trust and sentenced to one day in jail and a $75,000 fine, and contractor Regis Trudeau, who also received a one-day jail sentence and a $100,000 fine. Even Claude Rouleau, head of the OIB installed to stop the bleeding, was found guilty of breach of trust for accepting gifts in connection with the Olympic construction and was ordered to pay $31,000. Fining the miscreants, unfortunately, didn’t help pay off much of the debt. In order to rid itself of the Olympic burden city hall had to skimp on urban essentials for years. Even now, with a belated rush to repair its crumbling infrastructure,Montreal is still paying the price for decades of neglect. *** Forty years on, however, Montreal has endured. The sour jokes about the stadium, the corruption and the Olympic debt are now part of the culture. The separatist movement that convulsed the city in the immediate aftermath of the debacle also brought some much-needed social change. Welcome to the new Toronto: the most fascinatingly boring city in the world Read more Montreal survived by reinventing itself on a smaller, more viable scale. If Toronto seized the mantle of Canada’s financial capital, Montreal is the unquestioned capital of culture, a vibrant city of street art, sculpture and world-class jazz, fireworks, comedy and fringe festivals, the city no longer just of Leonard Cohen but of Arcade Fire and Cirque du Soleil. Le Bistro is long gone, but Montreal is still hip, the bars and restaurants and clubs the liveliest in the country, a walking city where the cafes are full all day long and joie de vivretrumps quotidian worries over such inconvenient details as bounced rent cheques and unpaid parking tickets. Montreal remains the polar opposite of money and real-estate obsessed Toronto – though where it was once a smaller, colder Paris, Montreal is now more North American, less European, less blithely certain of its position in the universe. Nevertheless, the Olympic debt is paid, separatism is a diminished force and there is even a tentative plan afoot to bring back the Expos. When spring finally comes after the long winters, there is a buoyant sense of rebirth and confidence in the future. If you can ignore the potholes and the still-simmering controversies over municipal corruption, Montreal is once again a great place to live. But you can’t escape the sense that the city might have had it all. In truth, before the Olympics, it did. Guardian Cities is devoting a week to exploring all things Canada. Get involved onTwitter and Facebook and share your thoughts with #GuardianCanada
  6. Je sais que Chicago et Montréal sont des villes différentes, et on peut nommées ces différences. Chicago, elle aussi... est une des plus grandes villes dans son pays. vit avec la corruption dans le présent et a vécu la dominance de la mafia dans le passé. on des élus qui sont allés en prison ou q'iraient. appartient à une structure métropolitaine trop bureaucratique. était plus une ville nationale dans son passé mais à progressivement devenu plus régionale. est renommée pour son architecture. essaye de convaincre des grandes conférences internationales de choisir leur ville pour montrer quelle est encore «dans le game.» n'est pas une ville où les gens faut s'installer selon leur profession comme New York ou Los Angeles. fait du rattrapage vis-à-vis ses concurrents, dont New York et Los Angeles. Maintenant je vais prendre le rôle de Simon Durivage (ou Peter Mansbridge, selon vos goûts): Est-ce qu'il y a des leçons pour Montréal, en ce qui concerne la corruption, la bureaucratie et la perte du statut national (Canada)? La raison pour laquelle je pose cette question ce que Chicago est une ville dynamique avec quelques de les mêmes problèmes que Montréal. En ce qui concerne nos problèmes, je trouve qu'on a plus de liens avec Chicago qu'avec Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary. The Second-Rate City? http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_2_chicago.html Chicago’s swift, surprising decline presents formidable challenges for new mayor Rahm Emanuel. In the 1990s, Chicago enthusiastically joined the urban renaissance that swept through many of America’s major cities. Emerging from the squalor and decay of the seventies and eighties, Chicago grew for the first time since 1950—by more than 100,000 people over the decade. The unemployment rate in the nation’s third-biggest city was lower than in its two larger rivals, and per-capita income growth was higher. Chicago’s metropolitan area racked up 560,000 new jobs, more than either New York’s or Los Angeles’s in raw numbers and over twice as many on a percentage basis. A rising Chicago spent lavishly to improve itself, investing in a new elevated line to Midway Airport, a major street-beautification program, and new cultural facilities costing hundreds of millions of dollars. The capstone was Millennium Park, a $450 million showplace featuring work by such celebrities as architect Frank Gehry and sculptor Anish Kapoor. The idea was to portray Chicago as a “global city,” and it was successful, to judge from the responses in the national media. As Millennium Park opened (a few years late) in the mid-2000s, The Economist celebrated Chicago as “a city buzzing with life, humming with prosperity, sparkling with new buildings, new sculptures, new parks, and generally exuding vitality.” The Washington Post dubbed Chicago “the Milan of the Midwest.” Newsweek added, “From a music scene powered by the underground footwork energy of juke to adventurous three-star restaurants, high-stepping fashion, and hot artists, Chicago is not only ‘the city that works,’ in Mayor Daley’s slogan, but also an exciting, excited city in which all these glittery worlds shine.” But despite the chorus of praise, it’s becoming evident that the city took a serious turn for the worse during the first decade of the new century. The gleaming towers, swank restaurants, and smart shops remain, but Chicago is experiencing a steep decline quite different from that of many other large cities. It is a deeply troubled place, one increasingly falling behind its large urban brethren and presenting a host of challenges for new mayor Rahm Emanuel. Begin with Chicago’s population decline during the 2000s, an exodus of more than 200,000 people that wiped out the previous decade’s gains. Of the 15 largest cities in the United States in 2010, Chicago was the only one that lost population; indeed, it suffered the second-highest total loss of any city, sandwiched between first-place Detroit and third-place, hurricane-wrecked New Orleans. While New York’s and L.A.’s populations clocked in at record highs in 2010, Chicago’s dropped to a level not seen since 1910. Chicago is also being “Europeanized,” with poorer minorities leaving the center of the city and forced to its inner suburbs: 175,000 of those 200,000 lost people were black. The demographic disaster extends beyond city limits. Cook County as a whole lost population during the 2000s; among America’s 15 largest counties, the only other one to lose population was Detroit’s Wayne County. The larger Chicago metropolitan area grew just 4 percent—less than half the national average. What little growth Chicagoland had, then, was concentrated in its exurban fringes, belying the popular narrative of a return to the city. And even that meager growth resulted almost entirely from new births and immigrants, rather than domestic migration: over the decade, the Chicago metro area suffered a net loss of more than 550,000 people to other parts of the country. Chicago’s economy also performed poorly during the first decade of the century. That was a tough decade all over the United States, of course, but the Chicago region lost 7.1 percent of its jobs—the worst performance of any of the country’s ten largest metro areas. Chicago’s vaunted Loop, the second-largest central business district in the nation, did even worse, losing 18.6 percent of its private-sector jobs, according to the Chicago Loop Alliance. Per-capita GDP grew faster in New York and L.A. than in Chicago; today, Chicago’s real per-capita GDP ranks eighth out of the country’s ten largest metros. Fiscal problems are commonplace these days among local governments, but Chicago’s are particularly grim and far predate the Great Recession. Cook County treasurer Maria Pappas estimates that within the city of Chicago, there’s a stunning $63,525 in total local government liabilities per household. Not all of this is city debt; the region’s byzantine political structure includes many layers of government, including hundreds of local taxing districts. But pensions for city workers alone are $12 billion underfunded. If benefits aren’t reduced, the city will have to increase its contributions to the pension fund by $710 million a year for the next 50 years, according to the Civic Federation. Chicago’s annual budget, too, has been structurally out of balance, running an annual deficit of about $650 million in recent years. As dire as Chicago’s finances are, those of Illinois are in even worse shape. The primary cause, once again, is pensions, which are underfunded to the tune of $83 billion. Retirees’ future health care is underfunded an additional $43 billion. There’s a lot of regular debt, too—about $44 billion of it. And Illinois, like Chicago, has run large deficits for some time. Despite raising the individual income tax 66 percent and the corporate tax 46 percent in 2011, the state is projected to end the current fiscal year with an accumulated deficit of $5.2 billion. While California has made headlines by issuing IOUs to companies to which it owes money, Illinois has taken an easier route: it just stopped paying its bills, at one point last year racking up 208,000 of them, totaling $4.5 billion. Some businesses have gone unpaid for nine months or even longer. Unsurprisingly, Illinois has the worst credit rating of any state. Unable to pay its bills, it is de facto bankrupt. What accounts for Chicago’s miserable performance in the 2000s? The fiscal mess is the easiest part to account for: it is the result of poor leadership and powerful interest groups that benefit from the status quo. Public-union clout is literally written into the state constitution, which prohibits the diminution of state employees’ retirement benefits. Tales of abuse abound, such as the recent story of two lobbyists for a local teachers’ union who, though they had never held government jobs, obtained full government pensions by doing a single day of substitute teaching apiece. If the state and city had honestly funded the obligations they were taking on, their generosity to their workers would be less of a problem. But they didn’t. As City Journal senior editor Steven Malanga has written for RealClearMarkets, Illinois “essentially wanted to be a low-tax (or at least a moderate-tax) state with high services and rich employee pensions.” That’s an obviously unsustainable policy formula. The state has also employed a series of gimmicks to cover up persistent deficits—for example, using borrowed money to shore up its pension system and even to pay for current operations. At the city level, Mayor Richard M. Daley papered over deficits with such tricks as a now-infamous parking-meter lease. The city sold the right to parking revenues for 75 years to get $1.1 billion up front. Just two years into the deal, all but $180 million had been spent. The debt and obligations begin to explain why jobs are leaving Chicago. It isn’t a matter, as in many cities, of high taxes driving away businesses and residents. Though Chicago has the nation’s highest sales tax, Illinois isn’t a high-tax state; it scores 28th in the Tax Foundation’s ranking of the best state tax climates. But the sheer scale of the state’s debts means that last year’s income-tax hikes are probably just a taste of what’s to come. (Cutting costs is another option, but that may be tricky, since Illinois is surprisingly lean in some areas already; it has the lowest number of state government employees per capita of any state, for example.) The expectation of higher future taxes has cast a cloud over the state’s business climate and contributed to the bleak economic numbers. But that isn’t the whole story. Many of Chicago’s woes derive from the way it has thrown itself into being a “global city” and the uncomfortable fact that its enthusiasm may be delusional. Most true global cities are a dominant location of a major industry: finance in New York, entertainment in Los Angeles, government in Washington, and so on. That position lets them harvest outsize tax revenues that can be fed back into sustaining the region. Thus New York uses Wall Street money, perhaps to too great an extent, to pay its bills (see “Wall Street Isn’t Enough,” page 12). Chicago, however, isn’t the epicenter of any important macro-industry, so it lacks this wealth-generation engine. It has some specialties, such as financial derivatives and the design of supertall skyscrapers, but they’re too small to drive the city. The lack of a calling-card industry that can generate huge returns is perhaps one reason Chicago’s per-capita GDP is so low. It also means that there aren’t many people who have to be in Chicago to do business. Plenty of financiers have to settle in New York, lots of software engineers must move to Silicon Valley, but few people will pay any price or bear any burden for the privilege of doing business in Chicago. Chicago’s history militates against its transforming itself into a global city on the scale of New York, London, or Hong Kong. Yes, its wealth was built by dominating America’s agro-industrial complex—leading the way in such industries as railroads, meatpacking, lumber processing, and grain processing—but that is long gone, and the high-end services jobs that remain to support those sectors aren’t a replacement. Chicago as a whole is less a global city than the unofficial capital of the Midwest, and its economy may still be more tied to that troubled region than it would like to admit. Like the Midwest generally, parts of Chicago suffer from a legacy of deindustrialization: blighted neighborhoods, few jobs, a lack of investment, and persistent poverty. Chicago is also the “business service center of the Midwest, serving regional markets and industries,” Chicago Fed economist Bill Testa wrote in 2007; as a result, “Chicago companies’ prospects for growth are somewhat limited.” It’s easy to understand why being a global city is the focus of civic leadership. Who wouldn’t want the cachet of being a “command node” of the global economy, as urbanists put it? It’s difficult, too, to think of a different template for Chicago to follow; its structural costs are too high for it easily to emulate Texas cities and become a low-cost location. But just because the challenge is stiff doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be tackled. Chicago isn’t even trying; rather, it’s doubling down on the global-city square. Senator Mark Kirk wants to make O’Hare the most “Asia-friendly” airport in America and lure flights to central China, for example. A prominent civic leader suggests that the city should avoid branding itself as part of the Midwest. One of Mayor Emanuel’s signature moves to date has been luring the NATO summit to Chicago. Another reason for Chicago’s troubles is that its business climate is terrible, especially for small firms. When the state pushed through the recent tax increases, certain big businesses had the clout to negotiate better deals for themselves. For example, the financial exchanges threatened to leave town until the state legislature gave them a special tax break, with an extension of a tax break for Sears thrown in for good measure. And so the deck seems to be stacked against the little guys, who get stuck with the bill while the big boys are plied with favors and subsidies. It also hurts small businesses that Chicago operates under a system called “aldermanic privilege.” Matters handled administratively in many cities require a special ordinance in Chicago, and ordinances affecting a specific council district—called a “ward” in Chicago—can’t be passed unless the city council member for that ward, its “alderman,” signs off. One downside of the system is that, as the Chicago Reader reported, over 95 percent of city council legislation is consumed by “ward housekeeping” tasks. More important is that it hands the 50 aldermen nearly dictatorial control over what happens in their wards, from zoning changes to sidewalk café permits. This dumps political risk onto the shoulders of every would-be entrepreneur, who knows that he must stay on the alderman’s good side to be in business. It’s also a recipe for sleaze: 31 aldermen have been convicted of corruption since 1970. Red tape is another problem for small businesses. Outrages are legion. Scooter’s Frozen Custard was cited by the city for illegally providing outdoor chairs for customers—after being told by the local alderman that it didn’t need a permit. Logan Square Kitchen, a licensed and inspected shared-kitchen operation for upscale food entrepreneurs, has had to clear numerous regulatory hurdles: each of the companies using its kitchen space had to get and pay for a separate license and reinspection, for example, and after the city retroactively classified the kitchen as a banquet hall, its application for various other licenses was rejected until it provided parking spaces. An entrepreneur who wanted to open a children’s playroom to serve families visiting Northwestern Memorial Hospital was told that he needed to get a Public Place of Amusement license—which he couldn’t get, it turned out, because the proposed playroom was too close to a hospital! And these are exactly the kind of hip, high-end businesses that the city claims to want. Who else stands a chance if even they get caught in a regulatory quagmire? As Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Roper has noted, “unnecessary and burdensome regulation” puts Chicago “at a competitive disadvantage with other cities.” Companies also fear Cook County’s litigation environment, which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has called the most unfair and unreasonable in the country. It’s not hard to figure out why Chief Executive ranked Illinois 48th on its list of best states in which to do business. Chicago’s notorious corruption interferes with attempts to fix things. Since 1970, 340 officials in Chicago and Cook County have been convicted of corruption. So have three governors. The corruption has been bipartisan: both Governor George Ryan, a Republican, and Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, are currently in federal prison. A recent study named Chicago the most corrupt city in the United States. But an even greater problem than outright corruption is Chicago’s culture of clout, a system of personal loyalty and influence radiating from city hall. Influencing the mayor, and influencing the influencers on down the line, is how you get things done. There is only one power structure in the city—including not just politicians but the business and social elite and their hangers-on—and it brings to mind the court of Louis XIV: when conflicts do arise, they are palace intrigues. One’s standing is generally not, as in most cities, the result of having an independent power base that others must respect; it is the result of personal favor from on high. One drawback with this system is that it practically demands what columnist Greg Hinz calls a “Big Daddy”–style leader to sustain itself. Another is that fear of being kicked out of the circle looms large in the minds of important Chicagoans. Beginning in 2007, Mayor Daley launched an ultimately unsuccessful bid for the 2016 Olympics. Later, commentator Ramsin Canon observed that Daley “was able to get everybody that mattered—everybody—on board behind the push. . . . Nobody, from the largest, most conservative institutions to the most active progressive advocacy group, was willing to step out against him.” These organizations have good reason to fear reprisal for not toeing the line. When Daley signed his disastrous parking-meter deal, an advocacy group called the Active Transportation Alliance issued a critical report. After a furious reaction by the Daley administration, the organization issued a groveling retraction. “I would like to simply state that we should not have published this report,” said executive director Rob Sadowsky. “I am embarrassed that it not only contains factual errors, but that it also paints an incorrect interpretation of the lease’s overall goals.” Sadowsky is no longer in Chicago. It’s easy to see how fiascoes like the parking-meter lease happen where civic culture is rotten and new ideas can’t get a hearing. Chicago’s location already isolates it somewhat from outside views. Combine that with the culture of clout, and you get a city that’s too often an echo chamber of boosterism lacking a candid assessment of the challenges it faces. Some of those challenges defy easy solutions: no government can conjure up a calling-card industry, and it isn’t obvious how Chicago could turn around the Midwest. Mayor Emanuel is hobbled by some of the deals of the past—the parking-meter lease, for example, and various union contracts that don’t expire until 2017 and that Daley signed to guarantee labor peace during the city’s failed Olympic bid. But there’s a lot that Emanuel and Chicago can do, starting with facing the fiscal mess head-on. Emanuel has vowed to balance the budget without gimmicks. He cut spending in his 2012 budget by 5.4 percent. He wants to save money by letting private companies bid to provide city services. He’s found some small savings by better coordination with Cook County. Major surgery remains to be done, however, including a tough renegotiation of union contracts, merging some functions with county government, and some significant restructuring of certain agencies, such as the fire department. By far the most important item for both the city and state is pension reform for existing workers—a politically and legally challenging project, to say the least. To date, only limited reforms have passed: the state changed its retirement age, but only for new hires. Next is to improve the business climate by reforming governance and rules. This includes curtailing aldermanic privilege, shrinking the overly large city council, and radically pruning regulations. Emanuel has already gotten some votes of confidence from the city’s business community, recently announcing business expansions with more than 8,000 jobs, though they’re mostly from big corporate players. Chicago also needs something even harder to achieve: wholesale cultural change. It needs to end its obsession with being solely a global city, look for ways to reinvigorate its role as capital of the Midwest, and provide opportunities for its neglected middle and working classes, not just the elites. This means more focus on the basics of good governance and less focus on glamour. Chicago must also forge a culture of greater civic participation and debate. You can’t address your problems if everyone is terrified of stepping out of line and admitting that they exist. Here, at least, Emanuel can set the tone. In March, he publicly admitted that Chicago had suffered a “lost decade,” a promisingly candid assessment, and he has tapped former D.C. transportation chief Gabe Klein to run Chicago’s transportation department, rather than picking a Chicago insider. Continuing to welcome outsiders and dissident voices will help dilute the culture of clout. Fixing Chicago will be a big, difficult project, but it’s necessary. The city’s sparkling core may continue to shine, and magazines may continue to applaud the global city on Lake Michigan—but without a major change in direction, Chicago can expect to see still more people and jobs fleeing for more hospitable locales. Aaron M. Renn is an urban analyst, consultant, and publisher of the urban policy website The Urbanophile.
  7. Corruption, petty language fights don’t help Montreal’s “reputation deficit” Charles Lapointe says squabbles over a few English words on menus or in bathrooms are “ridiculous” and are “creating a troubling image of Montreal abroad.” Photograph by: Tourisme Montreal , . Charles Lapointe, president of Tourism Montreal, was uncharacteristically frank this week when he said that petty battles over language are undermining the city’s image. Perhaps it’s because he’s retiring in June that Lapointe was willing to speak out. Squabbles over a few English words on menus or in bathrooms are “ridiculous” and are “creating a troubling image of Montreal abroad,” he said. Lapointe’s remarks are timely because we’ve just been reminded that reputation is vital to a city’s financial health. The Global Financial Centres Index, a measure of how cities rank around the world as places to conduct banking, insurance, investment management and other financial transactions, has just been updated. Montreal ranked 16th in the survey, gaining one spot and finishing behind Toronto and Vancouver, but ranking just ahead of Calgary. It seems Montreal suffers from “a reputation deficit,” according to the survey’s author, Mark Yeandle of London-based Z/Yen Group, who was in town to release the latest findings. He wasn’t referring to language battles, student strikes, crumbling roads or rampant municipal corruption. Rather, he meant that the city’s financial strengths in such areas as investment management and derivatives trading are not well known and need to be promoted. Still, it’s clear that image is everything when it comes to a survey like this and it may not be long before Montreal’s troubles catch up to it. The index doesn’t attempt to measure the dollar value of financial business conducted in each city. Instead, it asks nearly 2,400 financial-services professionals to rate cities on 96 criteria. These are grouped into five main areas: the business environment, infrastructure, market access, availability of talent and cost competitiveness. No surprise that London, New York and Hong Kong hold the top three spots or that Singapore, Zurich and Tokyo follow just behind. North American cities ranking ahead of Montreal are Boston (8), Chicago (11), Toronto (12), San Francisco (13), Washington D.C. (14) and Vancouver (15). Montreal can take some encouragement from the index: it ranks ahead of such cities as Paris and Shanghai. But there are warning signs, too. Those responding to the survey placed a lot of value on such issues as the rule of law and absence of corruption. If Montreal can’t clean up its act in this regard, it may well lose business. The more we learn about the complicity between corrupt municipal officials and big local companies hungry for contracts, the less inviting this city looks as a place to do business. Reputation, the study concludes, is “very important” and “predictability is key.” Montreal, of course, isn’t the only place where there’s concern about such issues. Even top-ranked London has looked bad lately. One banker based in London commented: “London continues to receive bad news — LIBOR (the interest-rate fixing scandal), capping of bonuses, corruption — when will it end and what does it take for London to lose its top spot?” Another area of concern in the survey is taxation. “Simplicity and stability are required,” notes the study. You could take that as a reminder to the Parti Québécois government that its income-tax increases on high-income Quebecers risk making Montreal a less attractive destination for mobile financial jobs. What you have to remember is that the financial industry is a moving target; it’s evolving all the time as new centres, products and technologies emerge. When asked which centres are likely to become more significant down the road, respondents identified Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Toronto as their top five picks for future growth. Clearly, Asia is on the move and Latin American cities are rising, too. It’s an ultracompetitive world and Montreal risks being left behind if it can’t develop its strengths. That’s where we get back to language. English does happen to be the language of international banking and finance; let’s hope that petty bureaucrats and politicians don’t get in the way of anyone wanting to expand here. The city’s French fact is already a great attraction, making Montreal a bridge between North America and Europe. Let’s not forget the importance of the other language in any growth strategy. [email protected] Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Corruption+petty+language+fights+help+Montreal+reputation+deficit/8170678/story.html#ixzz2P5HnPZlL
  8. Charest dirigera une première mission québécoise en Russie Rémi Nadeau La Presse Canadienne Québec Publié le 06 décembre 2009 à 15h50 | Mis à jour le 06 décembre 2009 à 15h58 Le premier ministre Charest souhaite établir des contacts politiques et économiques qui pourraient permettre à des entreprises québécoises de percer cet important marché de 150 millions d'habitants. Le premier ministre Jean Charest dirigera une première mission économique officielle toute québécoise en Russie, dans les prochains jours, dans l'espoir de jeter les bases d'une relation d'affaires durable avec cet acteur des économies émergentes. Pendant quatre jours, à compter de mardi, M. Charest souhaite établir des contacts politiques et économiques qui pourraient permettre à des entreprises québécoises de percer cet important marché de 150 millions d'habitants. Les représentants d'une dizaine d'entreprises l'accompagneront lors de visites à Moscou et St-Petersbourg, dont Bombardier Produits Récréatifs, CAE, SNC Lavalin et Gaz Métropolitain. «Les Russes ont peu d'expertise dans le domaine de la technologie, des infrastructures et même des produits manufacturiers. Tout est à faire là-bas, ils ont besoin d'étrangers pour diversifier leur économie, largement dominée par les hydrocarbures», a expliqué en entrevue à La Presse Canadienne le ministre des Relations internationales, Pierre Arcand, qui sera aussi de la partie. Entre 1998 et 2008, avant d'être sérieusement affectée par la crise économique, la Russie a affiché des taux de croissance annuels atteignant 7%. À son arrivée au pouvoir en 2003, le gouvernement Charest avait ciblé ce marché avec ceux de la Chine, de l'Inde et du Brésil, en constatant que ses liens étaient pratiquement inexistants avec ces nouveaux acteurs économiques en développement. S'il représente un potentiel d'affaires alléchant, le marché russe n'est toutefois pas facile à pénétrer, notamment en raison de la corruption qui y est omniprésente et de la lourdeur administrative imposée par l'État. «Les entrepreneurs étrangers sont réticents à intervenir en Russie, parce que le pays n'est jamais bien classé au chapitre de la corruption, c'est un héritage de l'époque soviétique», a indiqué la professeure de science politique de l'Université Laval, Aurélie Campana. «Puis, les Russes n'ont pas de tradition d'économie de marché et les pratiques ne sont pas encore ancrées chez les hommes d'affaires», a-t-elle ajouté. Sans minimiser les obstacles, le ministre Arcand estime toutefois que bien des exemples de succès en territoire russe devraient suffire à convaincre les entrepreneurs québécois que le jeu en vaut la chandelle. Il cite par exemple le cas de l'homme d'affaires canadien George Cohon, qui a ouvert le premier restaurant de la chaîne McDonald's à Moscou, et qui en a fait le plus rentable à travers la planète. M. Arcand souligne aussi que sur 200 entreprises de Grande-Bretagne s'étant installées en Russie depuis 1992, la grande majorité d'entre-elles y sont demeurées et font des affaires d'or. «C'est sûr que la corruption existe, mais, des complications, il y en a dans tous les pays. Puis, les entreprises étrangères ne resteraient pas sur place si cela ne fonctionnait pas. Elles font de l'argent et il y a là beaucoup d'avenir», a argué celui qui s'est rendu à Moscou une première fois en avril dernier, afin de préparer le terrain pour cette mission du premier ministre. Sur le plan politique, Jean Charest rencontrera notamment le vice-premier ministre Viktor Zubkov. La signature d'une entente de coopération Québec-Moscou est probable. Il prononcera une allocution sur les occasions d'affaires liées à la tenue des Jeux Olympiques de Sotchi, puis effectuera même une présentation de son Plan Nord, à l'occasion d'une table ronde sur le développement du Nord et des régions éloignées. Par ailleurs, M. Charest assistera mercredi à une représentation de «Varekai», premier spectacle permanent du Cirque du Soleil à Moscou. Avant de rentrer au pays, le premier ministre se rendra à Copenhague, au Danemark, où il participera à la conférence des Nations-Unies sur les changements climatiques. http://lapresseaffaires.cyberpresse.ca/economie/quebec/200912/06/01-928440-charest-dirigera-une-premiere-mission-quebecoise-en-russie.php
  9. Le conglomérat allemand, empêtré depuis près de deux ans dans un vaste scandale de corruption, va réclamer leur plusieurs millions de dommages et intérêts. Pour en lire plus...
  10. MONTREAL - Corruption and politics are shaking investor confidence in Montreal, says a 2014 outlook which ranks Quebec’s key metropolis dead last among nine Canadian cities for commercial real estate growth potential. “Whether it is related to construction, corruption, or politics, interviewees (surveyed) expressed uncertainty about investment in Montreal,” said the outlook compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a professional services giant. The annual survey — which forecasts market trends and outlooks for different property types — also ranks commercial real estate markets in nine Canadian cities based on investment, rental and commercial property development and residential homebuilding potential.. The outlook is based on the views of 1,000 North American real estate industry experts surveyed or interviewed by PWC and survey partner, Urban Land Institute. While the outlook does not refer specifically to the Parti Québécois, elected with a minority government in 2012, one interviewee referred to an anticipated spring 2014 election when saying: “Montreal faces major risks because of uncertainty relating to politics.” In 2013, Montreal was ranked seventh out of nine markets in the survey and there were no remarks over politics or corruption. In the 2014 ranking, Montreal came in ninth, behind Halifax. PWC executives said they couldn’t elaborate on the political, or corruption fears raised by investors. “Sitting in Ontario, this (corruption) is getting a lot of (airtime),” said Frank Magliocco, a partner in the PWC’s audit and assurance group. “That may have had some impact on individuals who were ranking Montreal.” Deborah Dumoulin, a PWC partner, said she did not hear those same concerns voiced in Quebec: “This is not what would be coming from the Montreal market.” While economic growth is expected to rebound in Montreal to 2.1 per cent next year, a saturated office and condo market — combined with a forecast of weak employment growth — mean the city’s development prospects are limited compared to Canada’s booming west. The outlook on investment, a driver of tax revenues, comes at a time when Quebec Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau has already warned he might not be able to balance next year’s budget. Mélanie Malenfant, a spokesperson for Marceau, said she could not comment on the outlook since she was just made aware of it by a reporter. She pointed to PQ efforts to combat collusion, such as Transport Minister Sylvain Gaudreault’s recent unveiling of a 16-point strategy to lower the cost of public contracts. Bernie Marcotte, senior managing director of Cushman & Wakefield in Montreal, said there has been a slowdown in commercial real estate investments, but that’s mostly due to a weaker economy. “We see deals taking longer to complete. We have seen investment by private individuals slow down,” Marcotte said. “But the institutional investor, who’s there for the long haul, is still there.” Two real estate veterans, however, told The Gazette that they are seeing large investors reducing their exposure to Quebec, while Montreal-based developers expand into other provinces. One said investors have been shaken by the Parti Québécois’s focus on reasonable accommodation, including its so-called Charter of Quebec Values: “The government is distracted by social issues, they’re not focusing on the economy.
  11. ALERTE - Le maire de Montréal arrêté MONTREAL - Le maire de Montréal Michael Applebaum a été arrêté lundi matin et devait être entendu dans la journée par les enquêteurs de l'unité anti-corruption, a-t-on appris de source proche de l'enquête. Son arrestation s'inscrit dans l'enquête sur de multiples affaires de corruption qui secouent la grande ville québécoise depuis plus d'un an et qui ont entraîne la démission du maire précédent le 5 novembre dernier. (©AFP / 17 juin 2013 12h44) http://www.romandie.com/news/n/_ALERTE___Le_maire_de_Montreal_arrete_78170620131246.asp
  12. Publié le 28 octobre 2012 à 06h00 | Mis à jour le 28 octobre 2012 à 12h39 L'énigme Laval JUDITH LACHAPELLE La Presse Leur maire est la cible d'une pluie d'allégations de corruption. Les perquisitions se succèdent dans les bureaux municipaux, aux sièges sociaux d'entrepreneurs, dans des succursales bancaires et même à la résidence du premier magistrat. Pourtant, beaucoup de Lavallois continuent de défendre leur maire! Mais pourquoi Gilles Vaillancourt suscite-t-il autant de sympathie dans son île? Nous avons demandé aux Lavallois de nous expliquer ce «mystère»... SIX RAISONS POUR LESQUELLES LES LAVALLOIS SONT SATISFAITS DU MAIRE VAILLANCOURT: 1. Des augmentations d'impôt foncier limitées «On peut être d'accord ou non avec les façons de faire du maire Gilles Vaillancourt, mais il sait gérer sa ville», a écrit Gilbert LeBlanc dans nos pages Débats, la semaine dernière. L'impôt foncier n'a augmenté que de 1% en 2011 et de 1,4% en 2012. C'est moins que dans les villes voisines (2,9% à Longueuil, 3% à Montréal) et moins que l'indice du coût de la vie (environ 3% en 2011). La croissance immobilière exceptionnelle dans l'île Jésus a permis de hausser les revenus et de diminuer la dette de la Ville, si bien qu'on n'a pas eu à demander aux Lavallois de contribuer davantage au budget. La Ville fait même des surplus! «Alors même si la corruption est présente, suppose Olivier Beaudry, ça ne concerne que quelques millions par an et la bonne gestion permet probablement d'en économiser beaucoup plus...» 2. Des services municipaux efficaces «Mon fils de 7 ans a eu la brillante idée de verser du sable dans l'abreuvoir du parc, un dimanche. J'ai avisé la Ville, et la réparation s'est faite le lundi matin», raconte Benoît Lachance. Quand un Lavallois se plaint à l'hôtel de ville, il y a généralement quelqu'un qui écoute, notent plusieurs résidants. Les cols bleus n'ont fait la grève qu'une seule fois en 15 ans - au printemps dernier, ils ont débrayé pendant huit jours. 3. L'amélioration des transports en commun D'accord, prendre les transports en commun à Laval peut être un acte de foi. N'empêche. Le prolongement du métro à Laval est l'un des bons coups du maire, reconnaissent les Lavallois. Tout comme l'installation, dans les abribus, de panneaux électroniques qui annoncent le passage des prochains bus. Dans les autobus, des panneaux lumineux affichent le prochain arrêt. «Ainsi, on peut s'asseoir à l'arrière sans demander au chauffeur de nous avertir quand on sera à l'intersection de X et Y», dit François-Guy Gallant. 4. La croissance Elle ne se fait pas toujours dans l'harmonie, mais elle remplit les coffres de la Ville. Selon le dernier recensement, la population lavalloise a augmenté de 7,5% en 10 ans, comparativement à une hausse de 4,3% en moyenne au Québec. Les centres commerciaux ont poussé comme des champignons, les tours d'habitation s'élancent vers le ciel, de nouveaux quartiers colonisent les dernières terres, les entreprises y installent leurs bureaux et la Ville aura son nouvel amphithéâtre avant Québec. Banlieue-dortoir? Plus vraiment. 5. La qualité de vie Manifestations culturelles et sportives d'envergure, mesures pour les familles... «Vous seriez surpris de la quantité de parents montréalais qui utilisent de fausses adresses pour que leurs enfants puissent jouer au soccer dans les ligues de Laval», dit Benoît Lachance. La qualité des installations sportives varie cependant selon les quartiers. L'été dernier, des associations sportives ont notamment dénoncé dans les médias locaux le piètre état de plusieurs terrains de jeu et patinoires. 6. Le «bon» maire «M. Vaillancourt connaît très bien sa ville et ses recoins», dit Josée Beaudry, qui précise toutefois qu'elle n'a jamais voté pour lui. «Il est très gentil et s'occupe des problèmes des citoyens très rapidement. Il n'hésite pas à noter leur nom et leur numéro de téléphone afin de pouvoir les joindre pour leur demander si le problème a été réglé, ou encore à aller voir lui-même quel est le problème.» Même les opposants de M. Vaillancourt saluent ses compétences de gestionnaire. «Et puis, glisse un résidant qui a demandé l'anonymat, les Lavallois se disent qu'il vaut mieux avoir un maire corrompu mais compétent plutôt qu'un maire innocent, aveugle et mal entouré...» Une flèche empoisonnée envoyée au 514? TROIS CHOSES QUE LES LAVALLOIS REPROCHENT AU MAIRE GILLES VAILLANCOURT 1. L'anarchie urbanistique Grotesque et affreux, le cinéma Colossus, planté en bordure de l'autoroute 15, symbolise aux yeux de nombreux Lavallois le pire de ce qui s'est construit chez eux dans les dernières années. À cette «abomination», comme dit Benoît Lachance, on peut ajouter le nombre exponentiel de centres commerciaux à grande surface, écrit un autre résident, Didier Chrétien. «Les centres commerciaux du type power centre, avec des magasins tous éloignés les uns des autres dans des îlots, ne sont pas agréables à fréquenter. Ce sont des espaces qui sont conçus pour la voiture, pas pour les piétons. En hiver, il fait trop froid pour y marcher, et l'été, les grands stationnements créent des îlots de chaleur.» Où est le plan d'urbanisme de la Ville? Où sont les normes architecturales? «S'il y en a, on peut douter de leur à-propos et de leur justesse, dit M. Chrétien. Bref, un manque de vision de la part des dirigeants de la Ville.» 2. La disparition des terres agricoles et des milieux humides La moitié des terres agricoles, à Laval - parmi les plus fertiles du Québec -, ne sont plus la propriété d'agriculteurs ou d'horticulteurs. «La zone agricole de Laval est comme un gros fromage suisse, plein de trous», a déploré l'an dernier Guy Garand, directeur général du Conseil régional de l'environnement à Laval. Gabriel Legault s'inquiète de la construction d'immeubles dans des milieux humides remblayés. «La destruction massive du bois de l'Équerre est une honte. Laval a une réputation de ville grise en béton à cause de tous les espaces verts, bois, marécages qui ont été détruits. C'est dommage.» 3. Une démocratie de façade Trois perquisitions dans les affaires personnelles du maire, allégations de corruption persistantes... Tout ça commence à agacer le contribuable lavallois. Mais le fait qu'il n'y a pas d'opposition crédible fait frémir les résidants. «L'hégémonie du maire et de son parti a créé une démocratie de terre brûlée; l'opposition s'est atrophiée dans l'indifférence générale, s'inquiète Jean Parenteau. Les prétendants auront-ils l'écoute de la population?» Devant l'incertitude du projet de l'opposition, François-Guy Gallant est inquiet. «Je ne sais pas ce qu'ils vont m'offrir. Tandis que je sais ce que Gilles Vaillancourt offre: de la corruption et des bâtisses qui poussent partout dans la ville...»
  13. Première page de Bloomberg ce matin. Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Montreal got the nickname Sin City during Prohibition, when Americans crossed the border into Canada to drink, gamble and buy sex. The epithet is making a comeback this month. Allegations of price fixing, kickbacks and ties to organized crime are marring tomorrow’s election for mayor of Canada’s second-biggest city. Almost two-thirds of respondents in an Angus Reid poll released yesterday said the scandals will influence their vote. “This is Sin City all over again,” said Harold Chorney, a political science professor at Concordia University in Montreal. “Corruption is part of the history here.” Gerald Tremblay, the mayor since 2001, in September canceled a C$356 million ($330 million) pact to install water meters after La Presse newspaper reported that a city councilor vacationed on a yacht owned by the contractor who led the winning bid. Challenger Louise Harel, who leads in the polls, ousted her deputy this month after he admitted that his staff took improper cash donations. The corruption allegations are diverting attention from economic challenges facing the city of about 1.7 million people. The winner of the election faces rising costs for mass transit, policing and water, according to a May 21 Moody’s Investors Service report. Montreal has the highest debt load of any Canadian city, and ran a deficit of about C$330 million in 2008, compared with a surplus the previous year, said Ryan Domsy, senior financial analyst in Toronto at DBRS Ltd., a debt-rating company. Close Race The mayoral race is too close to call, according to an Angus Reid poll published yesterday in La Presse. Tremblay, 67, a Harvard Business School graduate, trails with 30 percent support. Harel, 63, a non-English-speaking lawyer and former minister in the separatist Parti Quebecois provincial government, leads with 34 percent. Richard Bergeron, 54, an architect who says the Sept. 11 attacks were carried out by the U.S. government and wants to ban cars from Rue Saint Catherine, the city’s busiest shopping street, is second at 32 percent. About 25 percent of respondents in the Angus Reid poll singled out transparency and the fight against corruption as the city’s No. 1 priority. Angus Reid polled 804 Montreal residents Oct. 28 and 29, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. “It’s one of the first really open races for years in Montreal,” Julie Belanger, 32, a Montreal office worker, said after an Oct. 27 candidates’ debate. “Usually you can guess who’s going to win, but this time it could be anybody.” Yacht Trips Tremblay canceled the water-meter contract, won by a group of local engineering firms, and fired two top bureaucrats after a report from Montreal’s auditor general found that elected officials lacked the necessary information before approving the project. The probe was sparked this year by a La Presse report that Frank Zampino, formerly head of the city’s executive committee, vacationed in January 2007 and February 2008 on a yacht owned by Tony Accurso, who led the group that won the water-meter order, the city’s biggest contract. Zampino retired from politics last year. Accurso’s lawyer, Louis Demers at De Grandpre Chait, didn’t return a call seeking comment. According to the auditor general’s report, the water-meter project was estimated in 2004 to cost C$36 million, about a 10th of the final contract’s price. “All of these allegations of corruption certainly don’t help Montreal’s reputation,” said David Love, a trader of interest-rate derivatives at Le Group Jitney Inc., a Montreal brokerage. “The city looks bad right now.” Sweeping Clean Harel’s Vision Montreal party based its platform on ridding city hall of its “culture of secrecy and collusion” and restoring trust in the municipal administration. Harel has called for public inquiries into the allegations of corruption at city hall, as has Bergeron’s Project Montreal party. “At first I thought a broom would be useful to clean this mess, but now I think I will need a very large vacuum cleaner,” Harel said in a television interview Oct. 28. Harel’s credibility was undermined after she forced the resignation on Oct. 18 of the head of her executive committee, Benoit Labonte, for ties to Accurso. Three days later, Labonte told Radio-Canada television in an interview that people close to him took money from Accurso, owner of Simard-Beaudry Construction Inc. Labonte said kickbacks and corruption are rampant in city hall. Maclean’s, Canada’s weekly news magazine, ran this headline on its cover this week: “Montreal is a corrupt, crumbling, mob-ridden disgrace.” “There’s an underground system,” Alex Dion, economic development officer for the borough of Montreal, said after a candidates’ debate. He said the allegations hurt Montreal’s reputation in the rest of Canada. Home of Ponzi Still, Howard Silverman, chief executive officer of CAI Global Inc., a consulting firm that helps foreign companies invest in Quebec, doesn’t think the allegations will deter investors from Montreal, the city that Charles Ponzi called home for almost a decade a century ago. Ponzi was charged in 1920 for using new funds from investors to pay redemptions by other investors, a type of fraud that now bears his name. “It’s not good for the city, it looks bad, but it won’t have much of an impact,” said Silverman, who counts investors such as London-based miner Rio Tinto Group among his clients. “Every North American or global city has its scandals or its problems.”
  14. http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/09/06/whos-the-smartest/ Comment? Le gouvernement Harper ferait-il ce genre de coupes? Nooooooooooooonnnnn............
  15. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/montreal-decline-neil-macdonald-1.3501352 ANALYSIS Corruption probes, broken bridges, the sad decline of Montreal A great place to lunch, but the city's problems are more than sinkhole deep By Neil Macdonald, CBC News Posted: Mar 22, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 22, 2016 5:00 AM ET The Turcot Interchange, in Montreal’s southwest borough near the McGill University Health Centre superhospital, is the meeting place for highways 15, 20 and 720, plus the onramp for the Champlain Bridge. Work on it has been caught up in the Charbonneau Commission corruption probe. (FOTOimages/MTQ) About The Author Neil Macdonald Senior Correspondent Neil Macdonald is a Senior Correspondent for CBC News, currently based in Ottawa. Prior to that he was the CBC's Washington correspondent for 12 years, and before that he spent five years reporting from the Middle East. He also had a previous career in newspapers, and speaks English and French fluently, and some Arabic. More by Neil Macdonald Video by Neil Macdonald Driving into Montreal last week, plunging down the concrete ditch of the Decarie Expressway from that weird left-lane exit off the Trans-Canada Highway, was, sorry, a bit like arriving in Beirut. Apologies to Beirut. That was a slur. Montreal's soaring overlay of traffic corridors weeps corrosion down their flaked and crumbling concrete exteriors. Lattices of rusted rebar pop everywhere. Bridges are wrapped in un-reassuring bandages of reinforcing material. A week or so earlier, on assignment, my CBC documentary crew navigated a similarly complex system of ramps, spirals, bridges, loops and cloverleafs in Houston. It practically sparkled. Smooth, brightly polished towers supported flawless pavement. Yes, Texas has a milder climate, but still Houston's system looked properly built and well maintained. Think about this: Texans pay just about the lowest tax rates between the Rio Grande and the Arctic Circle. Quebecers pay just about the highest. Nathalie Normandeau, ex-deputy premier, arrested by UPAC Quebec budget: Couillard tries to turn a page Fed up Montrealer fills pothole himself Mythologized Now, these observations won't be welcomed by readers in Quebec's metropolis. The ferocious devotion of Montrealers to Montreal (which I think runs even deeper among the city's Anglo residents) beggars the sometimes arrogant, self-proclaimed cosmopolitanism of Torontonians and smug contentment of Vancouverites. Montrealers believe that their city has a cultural richness equalled in North America only by cities like New Orleans or New York, and having lived there, I would agree. Aside from the international riot of its cuisine and its remarkable nightlife, Montreal is still gloriously louche. Eat lunch at a Montreal restaurant and you'll see wine on neighbouring tables. Imagine ordering alcohol at a business lunch in Toronto? No other Canadian city has been mythologized by the likes of Mordecai Richler or Leonard Cohen (or Robert Charlebois and Michel Tremblay or all the other playwrights and bards who have poured their love of the city into words and song). Montreal provokes a lifelong sentimentality in anyone who's lived there. But the city's pathologies, rather than its pleasures, are now what distinguishes it. Such is the state of the city's physical and social infrastructure that all the new spending in today's federal budget would only make a dent. <button class="play-button" style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 0px; margin: 0px; cursor: pointer; width: 151.797px; height: 258.75px; border: none; outline: none; background-image: url("data:image/png;base64,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"); background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: 50% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat;">Play Media</button> Montreal sinkhole swallows 2 cars2:53 Its tangle of decaying roads leads, among other places, to the second-busiest single-span bridge in Canada, the Champlain, which has for years been choked by chronic closures. It is literally in danger of collapse. That not only inflicts misery on the entire South Shore, with all its commuters, it distorts real estate prices, artificially inflating property values downtown. Who wouldn't pay a premium to avoid crossing Montreal's overcrowded bridges or sitting in standstill traffic on lanes to the West Island that seem eternally filled with construction detours? Don't get sick Something else you really don't want to do in Montreal: get sick. Quebec has been more permissive than any other province in allowing people to pay for their own medical care, for good reason: the public system isn't able to meet demand on its own. In fact, the province has had to deliberately limit its cohort of physicians. To boomers entering the age when you need care the most, that must be frightening. As you turn east into downtown at the bottom of the Decarie Expressway, the new McGill super-hospital perches on a hillside to your left. It was supposed to be a fresh alternative to over-crowded institutions like the Royal Victoria Hospital, which English-speaking Montrealers have endured for decades. Instead, it's emerged as a millennial version of the Olympic Stadium, the rotting monstrosity that sucked up $1.5 billion, and now sits, largely underused, in the city's East End. The super-hospital arrived vastly over budget, with thousands of defects, from defective wiring to lack of office space for physicians, to backups of stinking sewage, as the Montreal media have dutifully chronicled. Feast of corruption Like the "Big O," its construction was a feast for corrupt contractors and administrators. Several now face criminal charges. Just last week, the province's former deputy premier (and former minister of municipal affairs) was arrested for corruption, along with a slew of other public officials. Nathalie Normandeau: the rise and fall of a political star Nathalie Normandeau had actually testified at the 2014 hearings of the Charbonneau Commission, which was established to look into corruption in the construction industry and government contracts. Former Liberal deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau is one of seven people arrested last week on corruption charges in the wake of the Charbonneau Commission inquiry, which was established, reluctantly, by her former boss, Jean Charest. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press) You have to wonder whether the Cliche Commission, which was established in the early 1970s to look into, yes, corruption in Quebec's construction industry, anticipated the need for another official inquiry just a few decades after one of its lawyers, a young Brian Mulroney, penned a savage indictment of blackmail, violence and payoffs. A Montreal businessman I've known for years, a fellow who has prospered in real estate management and who is now planning a move to Toronto, shrugs at all this. He's been paying kickbacks for years, and has a hard time believing it required a commission of inquiry to establish that corruption continues. Anyway, pity Montreal. My former colleagues and current friends there sneered amicably when I decided to return to the national capital rather than Montreal after nearly two decades abroad; there were all the usual japes about sleepy, dull, unbearably sterile little Ottawa. But in Ottawa, you actually get services for the taxes you pay, which are a lot lower than the levies Montrealers suffer, and you can find a doctor, and Mike Duffy's Senate expenses constitute a big scandal. Plus, as Pierre Trudeau's old friend Jean Marchand liked to say, if you get really bored there's always the train to Montreal.
  16. I have a question: Why would city officials allow Segafredo to have a cheap terrace blocking half of the sidewalk on Ste-Catherine yet at the same time refuse to allow Apple to pay for 3 less parking spots in front of its store? It dosn't make any sense. Corruption or incompetence? I would like to hear your views on this. Thank you.
  17. Des perquisitions ont eu lieu dans plusieurs cantons suisses en raison de la présomption de corruption et de blanchiment d'argent. Pour en lire plus...