SLIDESHOW: Top 5 Business Scandals of 2012
In Canada, cities are underfunded and responsible for delivering most of what we all need for day-to-day living: roads, infrastructure, etc. Underfunding means that municipal politicians and bureaucrats are not very well paid compared to their provincial and federal counterparts but they have a say over an incredible number of pricey contracts. Not a great combination. In Montreal, years of systemic corruption came to light at the Charbonneau Commision examining ties between the city's political class and the construction industry. Shocking testimonies revealed some of the city's bureaucrats accepted thousands of dollars in cash bribes from construction magnates and in exchange, they rigged public contracts. The revelations led to resignations, including that of the mayor, Gerald Tremblay. The mayor of Laval (Quebec's third largest city), Gilles Vaillancourt, also resigned after being charged with alleged fraud, corruption, breach of trust and conspiracy by Quebec's anti-corruption task force. Not to be outdone, the mayor of London, Ont., Joe Fontana, was charged with allegedly using taxpayer money to pay for his son's wedding reception.