Here’s a question that HAS TO BE answered!
An ex RCMP Officer claims that like Quebec politics, Ontario politics has also been infiltrated by gangsters.
Why would a respectable RCMP official put his neck on the line with an accusation as serious as this unless there is much more to the story than just having a “denial” by Dalton himself and then hoping the story will quietly go away?
One other question here is “to what AUTHORITY” should this be reported to?……………McGuinty’s OPP?
September 20, 2012 Allan Woods Quebec Bureau
MONTREAL—An Ontario mafia expert told a Quebec corruption probe Thursday that York Regional Police may be investigating government contracts that have been awarded to organized crime groups.
The issue of rigged government contracts has rocked the provincial and municipal governments in Quebec and is the subject of a public inquiry into the infiltration and corruption of the province’s construction industry, its unions and the public officials who dole out lucrative contracts.
York Regional Police Det. Mike Amato let it slip at the end of his testimony Thursday that authorities may be currently investigating at least one instance where a criminal organization in Ontario undercut competitors in order to secure a contract for public work funded by taxpayers.
Amato refused to answer a question about any instances he knew of in which mafia groups he had been speaking about were able to win a contract by being the lowest bidder.
“That question there is too close to something that we are working on right now,” said Amato, a 25-year veteran of the force.
“The question that he asked brings something to mind in terms of a link that may exist. I’m not saying it does exist, but it’s a possible theory.”
It was the most concrete example that emerged of the links that exist between the activities of Italian mafia groups in Quebec and Ontario. Earlier this week, a joint investigation by the Toronto Star and Radio-Canada revealed the recent rise of the ’Ndrangheta, or the Calabrian mafia, which the RCMP has listed as one of its “Tier 1” threats in the GTA.
The ’Ndrangheta is one of three separate mafia clans active in Canada. The others are the Cosa Nostra, or Sicilian mafia, and the Camorra, originally from Naples.
In Quebec, investigative news reports and police probes of corruption and collusion have been front-page news for years. The Quebec government launched the Charbonneau commission last year to probe the ways the Cosa Nostra and outlaw biker gangs have infiltrated Quebec’s $50-billion construction industry.
There have been a number of arrests, including construction magnate Tony Accurso and confidantes of Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay. The allegations have also resulted in the creation of a provincial anti-corruption police squad, which just this week executed search warrants related to a public-private partnership to build a mega hospital affiliated with McGill University.
Mafia activities in Ontario fly under the radar of the public and the police, said Amato, who has been working full time on mafia intelligence for the last six years.
Amato said that the ’Ndrangheta is “stronger and more prominent” in Ontario based on the number of members in the province, which he did not reveal. The group is also exceedingly difficult for police to infiltrate, investigate and arrest because it operates along strict bloodlines.
One is either born or marries into the clan. Children are raised according to the strict criminal code that only family can be trusted and all others must be manipulated for financial gain.
Viewed from the outside, they appear wealthy, generous and normal. They work as bankers, accountants, limousine drivers, lawyers and entrepreneurs. They operate banquet halls, nightclubs, garden centres and construction companies.
“There are persons who are criminals, who are suspects in murders, who … go and coach soccer for kids. They’re integrated into the community and most people don’t even know who they are,” Amato told commission lawyer Sonia Lebel.
Members of the mafia also donate to charity, raise money for political parties and take part in community services, he said.
UPDATE of September 19/12:
September 19, 2012 ROBERT CRIBB, PETER EDWARDS, ROB FERGUSON and JULIAN SHER
A little-known Mafia organization called the ’Ndrangheta has risen to a “Tier 1” national threat, says the RCMP’s top Mafia-hunter in Ontario.
The risk assessment of the increasingly powerful group , whose Canadian power base is in the GTA, is based on criteria that includes, “corruption, scope, violence, infiltration, sophistication, expertise, subversion, strategy, discipline, insulation, multiple enterprises, group cohesiveness, (and) monopoly,” Supt. Kevin Harrison said in an exclusive interview with the Toronto Star and Radio-Canada.
“Part of the reason that they are (so powerful) is because of the influence that they have economically,” Harrison said. “And that’s not something that hits you in the face like a body bleeding on the sidewalk like you have in Montreal. They are very savvy, they run under the radar in terms of public notoriety but yet they are so pervasive in the economy.
Harrison’s comments come as the Charbonneau Inquiry in Montreal probes links between organized crime, politicians and the construction industry.
He noted that in Italy the ’Ndrangheta is considered more powerful than the better-known Sicilian Mafia.
“Certainly in Italy they are the pinnacle,” Harrison said. “That translates to their rise and significance here in Canada.”
Ben Soave, who retired in 2004 as chief superintendent in charge of the RCMP’s organized crime unit in Ontario, told the Star and Radio-Canada that while Mafia groups in the GTA have a “much lower profile . . . they’re probably more active than in Quebec.”
“They can operate as effectively and be as damaging as what they’re doing in Montreal,’ he said.
September 18th, 2012
ONTARIO PREMIER DALTON MCGUINTY SAID THE ASSERTION SHOULD BE MADE TO AUTHORITIES, NOT REPORTERS.
Credits: Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency
JONATHAN JENKINS | QMI AGENCY
WATERLOO, Ont. — A retired Mountie’s suggestion that Ontario politics has been penetrated by organized crime needs to be made to authorities — not reporters, Premier Dalton McGuinty insisted Tuesday.
“If there are serious and warranted allegations, they need to be made in a substantive way, not through the media,” McGuinty said as he attended the International Plowing Match in Roseville, near Waterloo.
“I have no reason to believe that they would want to keep this quiet and confidential if it is in fact grounded in reality.”
McGuinty was reacting to comments from retired RCMP chief superintendent Ben Soave, who told a Radio-Canada show that Quebec’s problems with political corruption — the subject of a public inquiry — are also occurring in Ontario.
“They have the same problem, the same corruption. One finds the same groups linked to organized crime. They are just more discrete,” Soave told the Quebec TV show.