The head of Quebec's union of municipalities announced Thursday that he's stepping aside amid allegations of a conflict of interest.
Marc Gascon, who is also the mayor of St-Jerome, Que., is being investigated for potential irregularities surrounding some repairs to his house, and the awarding of municipal construction contracts.
Following the allegations, Westmount Mayor Peter Trent and Quebec City mayor Régis Labeaume both pressured Gascon to step down as head of the UMQ, and both recently announced they were leaving the municipal umbrella group.
Trent said he finally left the group not only because of the controversy surrounding Gascon but also because of Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt, who is fighting allegations he tried to bribe political candidates running in his city with illegal campaign contributions.
Trent said he would consider coming back if both Gascon and Vaillancourt ended their involvement in the group.
"It would take Gilles Vaillancourt making a hard decision to step aside from at least the executive committee," Kent said. "If he does that, then I'd be happy to come back."
The string of controversies surrounding mayors in the province of Quebec doesn't end there.
The mayors of Mascouche and Terrebonne – two Montreal suburbs – stepped aside temporarily in the wake of allegations they broke rules in dealings with the construction industry. Citizens have demanded the resignation of Mascouche Mayor Richard Marcotte, and today Marcotte was kicked out of his own party.
Eric Forest, the mayor of Rimouski, will fill in for Gascon at the UMQ.