Montreal Council to choose new mayor within a month
Published Tuesday, November 6, 2012 4:01PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 7, 2012 1:43AM EST
Montreal is doing its best to carry on with business as usual, even under decidedly unusual circumstances.
“The City of Montreal is continuing to work, everything is functioning normally and we're all doing our best to make sure that things go on,” acting mayor Jane Cowell-Poitras said Tuesday.
A secret ballot to choose an interim mayor will be held by city council within 30 days after Gerald Tremblay resigned Monday under a cloud of controversy.
But already opposition members on Montreal City Council are demanding representation on the powerful executive committee.
“We demand an executive committee of coalition to represent the political spectrum of Montreal,” Vision Montreal leader Louise Harel said Tuesday.
Project Montreal leader Richard Bergeron sounded a similar note, saying all three parties on council now need to work together.
City councillors will make their selection in a secret ballot in December and that mayor will stand until Montrealers head to the polls to vote in municipal elections in 2013. The city clerk is expected to deliver further details Wednesday on the vote to choose an interim replacement. Neither Bergeron nor Harel are expected to run for the interim job, as they plan to run in the election next November.
Tremblay announced his resignation following a slew of damning corruption allegations against him, including illegal fundraising.
During his resignation announcement, Tremblay denied any wrongdoing, maintaining that he was the victim of “hidden agendas” and that his trust in “some was inevitably betrayed.”
Instead, the long-time Montreal mayor said he was resigning because “the success of our city is much more important than my personal interests.”
Several provincial MNAs from the governing Parti Quebecois said Tuesday Tremblay’s resignation was appropriate, given the circumstances.
Minister of Municipal Affairs Sylvain Gaudreault and the minister responsible for Montreal Jean-Francois Lisee both described Tremblay’s resignation as “wise.”
“By ending his political life on a sad note, he gives space to Montrealers to try to go through a transition and then rebuild,” said Lisee. “That’s why we feel that he made the right decision and we must thank him for it and underline that beyond all the problems that’s we’re living through now. This is a man who made a great contribution to Quebec.”
Lisee added that the mayor’s resignation was a personal sacrifice, as it was clear that Tremblay could not possibly continue to manage the city in light of the emerging allegations from the ongoing Charbonneau Commission.
In neighbouring Laval, Que., around two dozen protesters demonstrated at a council meeting Monday demanding Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt resign too.
Like Tremblay, Vaillancourt has also been the target of several corruption allegations, including receiving cash from contractors and paying it out to other politicians.
With files from CTV Montreal