Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Construction Corruption in Quebec: Not Good, but Don't Throw out the Baby with the Bath Water

As evidence of mounting collusion and outright corruption comes out in Quebec, the temptation is throw up one's hands and say, Basta! Enough! Some serious housecleaning is in order. Perhaps it should begin with a formal comission of inquiry, perhaps with the resignation of Premier Jean Charest. Certainly the official petition calling for the latter is gaining support: this morning more than 228,000 people had signed it, which is something considering the fact that the mechanism is set up so that people can't sign twice.

But in all this we should not lose sight of the fact that work on infrastructure projects is only necessary in order to provide good services to the population. Futher more, the stimulus packages begun after the 2008 financial meltdown, as well as previous long-term replacement projects undertaken by the Charest government have helped mightily in keeping Quebec out of the depths of economic slump.

Of course, we might be getting more per tax dollar without collusion, but we must not stop infrastructure replacement and investment because recently projects have not been properly overseen.

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