Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Kurdish independence referendum: What impact on the region?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Iraqi Kurdistan FM: 'We are determined to go ahead' with independence vote

Read more

FOCUS

Are universities in Pakistan becoming a breeding ground for terrorism?

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'It', 'Loveless', 'Nothing to Hide' and 'The Party'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Save the Children CEO on Rohingya crisis: 'Children are being shot at'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

British PM expected to make offer to Brussels in upcoming speech

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

French labour reforms: Will protests make Macron back down?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'US threatens to totally destroy North Korea'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Are hurricanes an uncontrollable phenomenon?

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2012-12-14

Quebec: the Maple Leaf Mafia

For the past few months, the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec has been gripped by a tale of corruption involving public officials and the construction industry. The mayors of Montreal and Laval have been forced to resign because of graft on their watch. A public inquiry, known as the Charbonneau Commission, has been set up to look into the scandal.

We caught up with Lino Zambito, a Sicilian-born businessman who used to be involved in a system of graft that allowed several companies in Quebec to share out some of the juiciest municipal contracts.

This former construction company boss was one of the first to testify before the Charbonneau Commission. “I was not an angel. I rigged contracts, I financed political parties, I bribed public officials; but the system was such that if I wanted to work for the ministry, I had no choice", Zambito told the inquiry.

Today he runs a pizzeria in a suburb of Montreal but remains charged with several corruption-related offences. Whenever he can, Zambito catches up with the latest developments at the public inquiry. He knows all the witnesses who take the stand - former colleagues, competitors, city officials - and is able to decipher this mafia system which could extend well beyond the borders of Quebec.

By Fabrice HOSS

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-09-15 Middle East

Video: How the Haredim, Israel’s ultra-Orthodox, make their own rules

In Israel, the Haredim community (or "Those in awe of God") lives separately from the rest of Israeli society. Dressed all in black, these ultra-Orthodox practise a strict form...

Read more

2017-09-07 DR Congo

In DR Congo, karate helps rape victims rebuild their lives

For the past three years, Frenchwoman Laurence Fischer, a three-time world karate champion, has travelled to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo to help female victims of...

Read more

2017-09-01 Japan

Video: Returning home to Fukushima

On March 11, 2011, a powerful earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan triggered the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, in 1986. Just like in the Soviet Union,...

Read more

2017-08-23 Africa

Video: The fight for survival in drought-hit Somaliland

Since the beginning of this year, Somaliland, an autonomous territory in the Horn of Africa, has been ravaged by severe drought. As eighty percent of the region’s livestock has...

Read more

2017-07-28 Middle East

Video: The plight of Cairo's street children

In Egypt, tens of thousands of children wander the streets of the capital, Cairo. They survive as best they can amid desperate poverty and violence. Some NGOs, such as France's...

Read more