Looking over her dark-rimmed glasses with her eyes of steel, Justice France Charbonneau presided over the provincial inquiry into widespread corruption with tenacity and fearlessness and is now hailed as an incarnation of justice in Quebec.
Like a scene out of Goodfellas, Canada’s “Mafia Godfather” Nicolo Milioto, testified about the hidden camera footage that showed him, and other reputed Mafiosos like Nick Rizzuto Sr. and Rocco Sollecito, stuffing wads of cash into their socks at Café Consenza in Montreal: “When they do something, they bring us something, and we always divide it in five.”
Powerful former construction mogul Antonio (Tony) Accurso walked away from the witness chair relatively unscathed, insisting he didn’t cater to organized crime figures or woo politicians for favours on “The Touch” — his now-famous luxury yacht, and dropping several bombshells.
“The Touch,” the yacht of former construction magnate TonyAccurso, made a star appearance at the inquiry, as union leaders admitted to accepting invitations to travel on his boat. Accurso also divulged that Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger once vacationed on his yacht as an invited guest, causing a storm of reaction on social media.
A photograph of high-powered union boss Jean Lavallee and former head of the construction wing of Quebec’s biggest labour federation having his back washed by construction magnate Tony Accurso while on vacation caused a stir at Quebec’s corruption inquiry.
Anti-corruption czar, Jacques Duchesneau was furious after former construction magnate Tony Accurso testified at Quebec’s corruption inquiry on Friday that he gave $250,000 to help the former Montreal police chief.
From its secret codes, its origins and the scope of its reach to how it got into the construction business, criminologist Valentina Tenti shared a detailed history of the Italian Mafia, including the so-called “Ten Commandments” of the Sicilian Mafia, the list of rules under which members must supposedly live.
Gerald Tremblay, the former mayor of Montreal who resigned in the midst of a corruption scandal in 2012, told the inquiry: “I am not naive.” when asked how he could have missed the rampant corruption in his party, Union Montreal.
The highest-ranking former politician to appear was ex-deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau, who has been accused of benefiting from illegal financing, accepting gifts and favouring funding for projects involving firms that donated heavily to the Quebec Liberal party.
One of Quebec’s most controversial union representatives, Bernard “Rambo” Gauthier, took the stand to deny he used violence and intimidation against contractors. His alleged practices led the government to modify labour laws, taking worker placement out of the hands of the unions.
A star witness was Ken Pereira, a long-time union organizer turned whistleblower who sounded the alarm about how the Mafia and Hells Angels were tied to Quebec union officials and gained access to a multi-billion-dollar Quebec pension fund.