Nov 06, 2012
By Jane Brown
He has become the highest profile political casualty of Quebec’s corruption scandal. Gerald Tremblay has resigned as Mayor of Montreal, saying he put his trust in fellow elected officials and municipal civil servants. 70 year old Tremblay explained, “after 25 years of public service to the community, I am leaving public life. When I was a young man, my father told me, not to get into politics because it was dirty and would destroy me. But the course I would follow, was determined by my passion for Quebec and for Montreal.”
Richard Bergeron is the leader of the municipal party “Project Montreal” and says its time to move on now that 70 year old Tremblay has stepped down. “It’s impossible to do the job we have to do”, he explained, “if we don’t get out of this permanent state of crisis. And the resigning of Mr. Tremblay gave us the opportunity to do what had to be done.”
Montreal City Hall has been in a crisis mode as large construction contracts have been frozen, current municipal employees have been suspended and past employees face criminal charges. Tremblay’s recent unpopular budget which increased taxes also has had to be abandoned.
Last week, a witness at Quebec’s corruption inquiry said the Montreal mayor was not only aware of illegal financing within his political party but was indifferent to it.