Martin Patriquin, the Quebec bureau chief of Maclean's magazine, wrote a cover story last September which dubbed Quebec the most corrupt province in the country, illustrating it in part by detailing the dark heart of the province's construction industry. He was roundly criticized for publishing it, including a motion in the legislature by Pierre Paquette of Joliette expressing "profound sadness at the prejudice displayed and the stereotypes employed by Maclean's magazine to denigrate the Quebec nation, its history and its institutions."
Patriquin wrote an editorial refusing to apologize (though Rogers Publishing management distanced itself). The Quebec press council later reprimanded Maclean's for the story for what it called its inflammatory headline and "lack of journalistic rigour".
So Patriquin might be forgiven for feeling a little smug today when posting about a leaked report written by former Montreal police commissioner Jacques Duchesneau, detailing widespread, long-standing and deeply rooted corruption in the construction industry.
In fact, Patriquin was asked by radio reporter whether he felt like crowing a bit and answered:
"Not at all, I said. Zen is a wonderful thing, and anyway the fact that the province of my birth has a political culture that allows such a thing to fester for so long is nothing to be happy about."