Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarko bites back: Ex-president fights to reclaim UMP leadership

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria mosque blast: Scores die in attack during prayers in Kano

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

No Deal: Iran Nuclear Talks End Without Agreement

Read more

FASHION

"Cloakroom Vestiaire Obligatoire" a tender and hypnotic performance by Tilda Swinton and Olivier Saillard.

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Learning the language of love

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Burkina Faso: Calls for probe into 1998 murder of journalist

Read more

FOCUS

Is this the end of Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Movement'?

Read more

#THE 51%

France marks 40th anniversary of abortion laws

Read more

#TECH 24

Virtual insanity? Artist to 'experience life' through Oculus Rift headset for 28 days

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

2014-11-28 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

2014-11-14 Somalia

Somaliland: A would-be nation state

In the eyes of the international community, Somaliland is an autonomous region in Somalia, on the Horn of Africa. But most of its 3.5 million inhabitants do not consider the...

Read more

2014-11-07 Liberia

Liberia: The daily threat of Ebola

Liberia is one of the countries most affected by the outbreak of Ebola, along with Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Read more

2014-10-31 Mexico

USA - Mexico: A danger-ridden border

It’s one of the most porous borders in the world. Each month, abetted by smugglers working with drug cartels, thousands of Hispanic immigrants try to cross the frontier between...

Read more