By Maclean's - Friday, November 9, 2012 - 0 Comments
Two years after our cover story provoked a defensive uproar, evidence of the deep-seated corruption has continued to pile up
Two years ago, a Maclean’s cover declared Quebec “The Most Corrupt Province in Canada.” In the story inside, Quebec bureau chief Martin Patriquin presented a litany of examples, both historical and current-day, revealing the deep-seated record of corruption running through municipal, provincial and federal governance in the province.
We never argued Quebec was the only province to be visited by corruption or compromised politicians, merely that the scale and persistence on display in La Belle Province outdid anything we could find elsewhere. We argued further that this record constituted a tremendous disservice to honest Quebec taxpayers. Finally, we noted the heartening provincial tradition of promptly tossing out elected officials tainted by scandal.
The reaction to our efforts at lifting the veil on corruption in Quebec and encouraging voters to clean house? We were viciously and repeatedly attacked in numerous and unprecedented ways. Continue…
By Jean-François Lisée - Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
A veteran Quebec sovereignist accuses Maclean’s of ‘constructive xenophobia’
I was more amused than shocked by Maclean’s cover naming Quebec “the most corrupt province in Canada.” It certainly feels that way these days, and Martin Patriquin’s only challenge was to cram in a single story all the strands of allegations and shady shenanigans surrounding Quebec’s current Jean Charest government. All the facts in the story are public knowledge, and for the most part brought to light by an aggressive Quebec media and no less insistent opposition parties.
Granted, the blow—being named most corrupt province—was not as painful for me to take as for most of my brethren, since I am aware of Maclean’s penchant for take-no-prisoners covers. Thanks to the weekly’s headline writers, I have been informed these past few months that Lawyers are Rats, Hitler is Back, Toronto Sucks, New York is a Land of Constant Terror, Hillary Adopted an Alien Baby, and Bush was a new Saddam.
No wait! Maybe one of those titles came from another magazine. No matter. Having been a journalist for a couple of decades, I did try to find in last week’s issue the methodology used to grant Quebec its number one spot on the corruption scale. I was curious to know who was number two, and how wide the margin was—as in Maclean’s yearly university rankings. Did the writers use the number of corruption convictions of elected officials in each province since 2000? The cash amount proven to have changed hands illegally? Or, since no conviction is to be found in Quebec (yet?), the number of police inquiries in play? I was disappointed. Maclean’s has no comparison metrics whatsoever. The whole cover is based on opinion and perception alone. Hopes for a Pulitzer on this one are dim.
So, what is the fuss about? A screaming headline loosely based on facts? They’re a dime a dozen. They sell. And Maclean’s is in the selling business. So all would be forgiven, if it were not for Andrew Coyne’s scoop that Quebecer’s are impervious to “constructive criticism.” Let’s try. Continue…