There has always been a rivalry between Toronto and Montreal for being the big city in Canada. It has a lot to do with the English vs. the French, hockey teams, and so forth; they’re always trying to top each other in some way.
Well, I think we’ve reached a new level with that. Last month Toronto Mayor Rob Ford made the headlines by being accused of smoking crack, and in the flurry of reporting about that, someone ended up dead, and it all sounded very scandalous. Mr. Ford has denied any wrongdoing or drug use or anything that smacks of murder, and as of today, he is still a free man.
Not to be outdone, however, the mayor of Montreal has gotten himself arrested on corruption charges.
Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum faces 14 charges, including fraud, breach of trust, conspiracy and corruption in municipal affairs, Quebec’s anti-corruption police confirmed Monday morning. Applebaum, who became the city’s interim mayor last fall after former mayor Gérald Tremblay quit under pressure, was arrested at his home early Monday and taken to the headquarters of the Sûreté du Québec. At a 10 a.m. press conference, the anti-corruption squad outlined the charges against Applebaum and two others. According to Robert Lafrenière, head of the Unité permanente anticorruption, or UPAC, the charges against Applebaum are related to two real-estate deals in the Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce borough. Lafrenière said that “ten of thousands of dollars” in bribes were involved.
It should be noted that these accusations are based on activities that took place long before Mr. Applebaum became mayor, but in the world of pecker contests and one-upmanship, there’s no statute of limitations.