Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Depardieu launches "Proud to be Russian" watch range

Read more

DEBATE

SPECIAL: US and Cuba Normalise Relations

Read more

ENCORE!

Forget Harry Potter, Jeff Kinney's 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' sells millions

Read more

FOCUS

Child migrants: no parents, no passports

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Thousands flee Libya and Nigeria to seek refuge in Niger

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Sony Pictures reels from cyber-attack

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"Todos somos Americanos"

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cuba-USA: 'A roll of the dice'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The 'Caribbean Wall' is starting to crumble

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 8.40 pm Paris time.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

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

2014-02-14 Cameroon

Central African Republic and the 'convoy of hope'

Despite the presence of French troops and an African Union-led peacekeeping force, the situation in the Central African Republic remains extremely volatile. Clashes between the...

Read more

2014-12-12 China

China: An 'Africatown' in Guangzhou

With twelve million inhabitants, Guangzhou, in southern China, is the third largest city after Shanghai and Beijing. Like the rest of globalised China, it attracts people from...

Read more

2014-12-05 France

Do French Jews have reason to fear?

"For the first time in 70 years, France has become a country of Jewish emigration". This is how the Chairman of France’s Central Consistory, Joël Mergui, gloomily sums up the...

Read more

2014-11-28 Lebanon

Lebanon's Shebaa, a village caught in the crossfire

It’s just another small Sunni village in southern Lebanon. But Shebaa, a Hezbollah stronghold on the crossroads of Israel and Syria, is now a flashpoint in a spreading war. With...

Read more

2014-11-21 National Front party (France)

France’s National Front in the spotlight

With the National Front on the rise in France, our reporters returned to three towns where the far-right party’s mayoral candidates won the most recent local elections.

Read more