Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Scandal claims Montreal mayor
Tremblay quits, pleads innocence
MONTREAL -- Montreal's mayor has resigned in the midst of a corruption scandal, becoming the highest-profile political casualty of the controversies rocking Quebec.
A defensive Gerald Tremblay said he had done nothing wrong but was stepping aside for the greater good of a city that has been politically paralyzed.
He made the announcement late Monday at a city hall where large construction contracts have been frozen; current municipal employees have been suspended; past employees face criminal charges; and an unpopular budget has had to be abandoned.
"Under these circumstances, I cannot help any more," Tremblay said in a solemn speech. "The success of our city is much more important than my personal interest."
The 70-year-old mayor held onto office just long enough to delay an election to replace him -- which would have been triggered had he resigned a few days earlier.
Tremblay had avoided the public eye last week, taking two days off work. Because he has quit after Nov. 3, less than a year until the next scheduled election, provincial law says he can be replaced with an interim mayor chosen by the city council that his scandal-plagued party controls.
Tremblay insisted he was unaware of corruption in his administration and only learned about it after the fact, saying Monday he felt betrayed by the people who had abused his trust.
"My father told me not to get into politics because it was dirty and would destroy me," Tremblay said, adding his love of Quebec and Montreal drew him to provincial and municipal politics over a 25-year career.
"I dedicated myself to the success of Montreal, based on my Judeo-Christian values of helping one another, in solidarity, integrity, openness, respect for human dignity, social justice and peace."
Monday's announcement came after years of scandal that inched close to the mayor. Tremblay's onetime closest associates have either been slapped with criminal charges or been accused of corruption at an ongoing inquiry.
The inquiry has heard the same man who collected cash from the construction industry for the Italian Mafia also collected a three per cent kickback for the mayor's Union Montreal party from the value of public works projects.
The latest, sharpest blow came last week when a witness at the inquiry said Tremblay was not only aware of illegal financing within his political party but was indifferent to it.
This was after the mayor had spent years telling Montrealers he'd been unaware of any corruption.
-- The Canadian Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 6, 2012 A9
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
(1 of 50 articles for this week)7:05 AM 0
TORONTO - Officials say a WestJet plane with mechanical issues was met with emergency crews as it landed in Toronto ...
Photo Store Gallery
- RCMP charge Sen. Mike Duffy with fraud, breach of trust and bribery
- Ontario medical student, girlfriend among passengers of doomed Malaysian flight
- Conservative party president's 7-year-old daughter hit by minivan, killed
- Mayor of Montreal-area community dies after being stung by wasps
- Police investigate suspicious death at Pemberton, B.C. Music Festival
- Canadian teacher detained in Jakarta jail on accusations of child sexual assault
- Duffy accused of charging for personal trainer, makeup artist, funeral travel
- Big Lake Ontario shark hoax shows risks posed by viral marketing, experts say
- New report questions Canadian Ukraine election monitoring missions
- Cdns at odds with Harper gov't priorities: Finance Canada focus-group report
- Family of missing boy, grandparents won't give up on finding them alive
- Moms change diapers, Dads form leaders: Justice minister's emails to staff
- Calgary police confirm violent incident in case of missing boy, grandparents
- $20,000 per person:Activists push for guaranteed minimum income for Canadians
- 'We're lucky to have her in our lives;' baby survives crash that killed mother
- Suspect in case of missing grandparents and child to make court appearance
- Investigators bring in boat in search near Calgary-area acreage in missing family case
- Calgary police say there are other leads in case of missing boy, grandparents
- Police say search near Airdrie part of probe into missing Calgary residents
- Ex-wife of B.C. homicide victim says man conned her; both appeared on Dr. Phil
Ads by Google