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There is something Shakespearean about the political and personal consequences of the revelations of the Charbonneau Commission. The names and pictures of officials, politicians and corporate executives have graced the front pages of the tabloids as they have been caught in the web of revelations of collusion to rig contracts with the city of Montreal. It is difficult to feel much sympathy for these people, but there is at least one important exception: former Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay. His fall is the stuff of tragedy – for one public official, and even more important, for public life. As I write, Tremblay has just concluded his day in court, six months after he left office, telling his side of the story under the commissioners’ relentless cross-examination.

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