Analysis: No wonder voters are cynical

From left: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Prime Minister Stephen...

From left: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (QMI Agency Illustration)

Lorrie Goldstein, QMI Agency Columnist

, Last Updated: 6:05 PM ET

TORONTO -- In the chronicles of political corruption in Canada, it's an unprecedented trifecta.

Mayor Rob Ford is under investigation by the Toronto cops, overseen by the OPP, for a litany of allegations related to drugs and extortion.

Meanwhile, a criminal probe by the OPP into whether government e-mails and documents were illegally destroyed during Ontario's $1.1-billion gas plants scandal has reached into the office of the Ontario premier under Dalton McGuinty, plunging his successor, Kathleen Wynne, into a new political crisis.

And in Ottawa, RCMP officers are investigating the legality of a $90,000 payment by Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former chief of staff, to disgraced former Tory senator Mike Duffy, part of a larger criminal investigation into alleged fraud in the filing of travel and expense claims in the Senate.

It's not the first time our municipal, provincial and federal governments -- and the politicians and bureaucrats within them -- have been under investigation by the police.

But to have all three levels of government being probed at the same time in three criminal investigations that reach into the highest municipal, provincial and federal political offices in the country, is extraordinary.

Toronto, once described by Peter Ustinov as "New York run by the Swiss," has morphed into Crazy Town, its now internationally infamous mayor the butt of global jokes, started by a litany of late-night U.S. talk show hosts, riffing incredulously on Ford's admitted crack cocaine use, purchase of illegal drugs while mayor and often wildly erratic behaviour.

Ontario, known as the province where "bland works" under former Tory premier Bill Davis, now has a Liberal government facing two OPP investigations, the second into its troubled air ambulance service, where hundreds of millions of dollars were squandered and up to eight patients may have needlessly died, according to a report by the chief coroner of Ontario.

In Ottawa, a Conservative prime minister and government that came into power promising a law-and-order agenda and to reform and modernize the nation's so-called Chamber of Sober Second Thought, now wears the Senate scandal, and the same old Senate, around their necks like a millstone, dragging down their credibility with voters.

One thing we've learned is that political corruption isn't a function of ideology -- Liberals and Tories alike are under the gun in these ongoing police probes.


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