Anti-corruption squad meets with Laval city councillors
Investigators ask about decision making process at city hall
Weeks after former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt announced his resignation, investigators with Quebec's anti-corruption unit have met with city council members.
Between Wednesday and Friday of last week, investigators with Operation Hammer visited all 21 independent councillors.
Officers arrived at councillor's homes early in the morning, without warrants. Councillors had the right to refuse to meet with officers and some took advantage of that right.
Claire Le Bel, councillor for Laval's Concorde-Bois-de-Boulogne district, opted to speak with the investigators. She said she was handed a list of names and asked to point out any links between them.
After only three years as a councillor, Le Bel said didn't recognize most of the names.
Investigators were also interested in the decision-making process at city hall, according to Le Bel.
Robert Bordeleau, head of Laval's unelected opposition Service du Citoyen party, said he wasn't aware of the meetings.
Bordeleau said he felt it was a good idea for investigators to meet with councillors one-on-one since they may have felt more free to talk.
"It's a very good thing for the democracy of Laval," he said.
City council adjusts after Laval mayor resigns
On Nov. 9, Gilles Vaillancourt, the former mayor of Laval, announced he was stepping down in the wake of mounting corruption allegations.
Following his resignation, the 20 councillors who were a part of Vaillancourt's PRO des Lavallois party said they would sit as independents.
Laval city councillors elected Alexandre Duplessis as successor on Nov. 23.
The 42-year-old chartered accountant refers to Vaillancourt as his mentor.