Quebec Corruption Probe Ends; Findings Due April

Grainy frame from police video of Nicolo Rizzuto stuffing cash
into his socks.
The Quebec corruption probe called the Charbonneau Commission, created in late 2011 by then-premier Jean Charest amid widespread public pressure, which worked to illuminate Mafia ties to the province’s construction industry, ends today, Friday, Nov. 14.

The Commission led to "startling testimony from bureaucrats, engineering executives and construction bosses about widespread collusion aimed at hiking the price of contracts," according to The Globe and Mail, which noted that the first witness to "drop a bombshell" was an ex-construction boss now facing charges of corruption. Lino Zambito testified for days about his links to a "bid-rigging cartel, a Mafia tax on projects and corrupt city officials who accepted kickbacks."

CBC News reported that Zambito, the first official the Commission grilled last fall, "became a household name..."

The biggest news to flow out of the entire Commission arose from evidence of the involvement of Vito Rizzuto, the fierce Cosa Nostra boss who died of lung cancer last December. As the Globe and Mail noted: "The inquiry heard how Rizzuto once helped decide who should win a certain bid for a road project in Quebec.
Vito Rizzuto, a  Cosa Nostra boss who will be remembered.

"Zambito testified he was once invited to a restaurant owned by his competitor and, sitting there as a mediator, was Rizzuto himself.

"The Mafia kingpin suggested Zambito didn't have the expertise for the job, so he decided not to bid on the contract.

In addition to Zambito's testimony, the members of the inquiry eyeballed police video of meetings between Mafiosi and big shots in construction.. The most memorable footage: Nicolo Rizzuto Sr., Vito’s father, viewed stuffing in his socks large wads of cash.

Shown last September, the video depicts Nick Rizzuto Sr., exchanging tens of thousands of dollars with Nicolo Milioto, then the head of Mivela Construction Inc. and Rocco Sollecito. Milioto told the commission he had no regrets over his friendship with Rizzuto.

Nicolo Rizzuto (February 18, 1924 – November 10, 2010) pushed out the Calabrian Cotroni family and assumed control of Montreal's Cosa Nostra, which his son, Vito, then took over.

On November 10, 2010, Nicolo Rizzuto was killed at his residence in the Cartierville borough of Montreal when a single bullet from a sniper's rifle punched through two layers of glass in the rear patio doors of his Montreal mansion. His death, at the time, was believed to be the final blow against the Rizzuto crime Family.

Vito, who'd been in an American prison following Joe Massino's flipping and testifying, returned and avenged the deaths of his father and son, among others.


  1. Ed, so does this mean that the rizzuto loyalists have regained control over the Canadian underworld? What effect will this commision have on day to day life in the construction industry there? Will something change?

  2. A new book focusing on the time Vito Rizzuto was in prison until his death by Peter Edwards is supposed to be released Feb of 2015. Dont know how much new info is gonna be in it, but probably worth a read.

  3. Are there any books currently available covering these recent mob battles in Montreal and elsewhere in Canada? I really really need to read detailed coverage of this country's semi current to current state of Italian OC.Any suggestions?


Post a Comment