Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Montrealers face tricky choice on potholes

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MONTREAL -- Montrealers are facing a bumpy dilemma on the road to clean government.

Residents of the city are being asked to choose between two less-than-inspiring options: Would they prefer more potholes in their streets, or would they like to see a city contract going to some companies involved in corruption scandals? The city administration is seeking citizens' opinion in a survey placed online Friday.

"Now citizens have a choice," Mayor Michael Applebaum said. "Do we go forward in awarding these contracts to companies where some people may have questions, or do we allow for these potholes to continue?"

Applebaum hopes citizens vote to put pressure on council to renew the pothole-fixing contract, even if it means some of that contract money falls into questionable hands.

Allegations of rampant corruption have seen city council rebuff plans to renew a pothole-fixing contract with Montreal's seven asphalt suppliers.

Applebaum says the contract can only be executed by all seven companies or none.

He also wants the province to pass inspection on the seven companies that would fill the $5-million contract for asphalt.

"If they are deemed illegal and not allowed to provide the asphalt," he said, "then this contract will be cancelled."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 23, 2013 A22

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