Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Is Quebec truly the most corrupt province in Canada?

The Oct. 4, 2020, edition of Maclean's magazine.

Jonathan Hayward/The Globe and Mail

Remember that controversy surrounding that famous Maclean's cover?

Personally, having lived in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, I was skeptical and wanted to see some empirical evidence - and said so in a blog post back then.

Well, some interesting results are now in.

Story continues below advertisement

According to a survey conducted in 86 countries on behalf of Transparency International, 72 per cent of Quebecers believe that politicians are corrupt - the highest percentage in Canada, and the 22nd highest in the world.

56 per cent of Quebeckers believe that corruption has gotten worse over the past three years and 13 per cent say that they would keep their mouths shut if they saw any evidence of it.

On the 11 categories tested, Quebec gets the worst mark in Canada for corruption in the private sector, public service, the judiciary and the education system.

British Columbia gets the worst marks for corruption in police forces and in the church; the Prairies get the worst score for corruption in the non-profit sector and the military gets the worst score for corruption in the Atlantic provinces.

2.7 per cent of Canadians admit to having paid a bribe.

In Quebec, that number climbs to 3.9 per cent - just ahead (or behind) British Columbia. But the Atlantic provinces lead the pack, with 4.9 per cent admitting to having paid a bribe in one of the above sectors.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to