Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has named Denis Gallant as the city’s first inspector-general, a position meant to weed out corruption in the awarding of city works contracts.
"I cannot say that I'm [going to fill] very large shoes because the shoes do not exist," Gallant said. "The experience that I have — I can tell you, I know where to look."
He previously worked as a Crown prosecutor specializing in the fight against organized crime, illegal drugs and the proceeds of crime.
If and when city council ratifies the recommendation, Gallant will be responsible for acting as the city’s corruption watchdog.
Coderre said Gallant was the right man for the job.
"I think that his vast experience in the fight against corruption, against organized crime, the fact that he's doing a tremendous job at the Charbonneau inquiry," Coderre said.
Coderre promised to create the inspector-general position and have it filled within 100 days of his mandate.
He was voted in as mayor of Montreal on Nov. 4, 2013.
He said he had to wait for the national assembly to reconvene on Feb. 11, 2014 to be able to fulfill the process, since creating the position required the amending of current provincial legislation.
In December, the Quebec government promised it would adopt the necessary legislative changes.
"The Quebec government fully supports the creation of an inspector-general in Montreal. It will...take legislative amendments to various laws, but we are working on it," said Municipal Affairs Minister Sylvain Gaudreault.
Today, the PQ government followed through, creating the position through the introduction of Bill 73.
The inspector-general will have a non-renewable five-year term and will report to municipal council.
Gallant will have a $5-million budget to work with and almost full rein.