A former MNA has announced he will run for mayor of Mascouche, while the current mayor is refusing to step down amid charges of corruption.
Former MNA Guillaume Tremblay announced Wednesday that he will run in the Mascouche municipal election next November.
The current mayor of Mascouche, Richard Marcotte, was arrested in April. He faces six charges of fraud, corruption, breach of trust and conspiracy.
Tremblay was an MNA for the Parti-Québecois in the riding of Masson for the last four years. Before getting involved in provincial politics, Tremblay sat as an independent city councillor for Mascouche.
The 28-year-old said he will run for mayor under the banner of the official opposition party, Vision Démocratique de Mascouche.
Marcotte kicked out of his political party
Marcotte was arrested in April on six criminal charges stemming from the provincial anti-corruption task force's investigations into allegations of conflict of interest and other irregularities in the awarding of municipal contracts.
The allegations, which have not been proven in court, suggest a company called Mascouche Transport and Excavation — which received contracts from the city worth nearly $40 million in 2008 and 2009 — carried out millions of dollars in free work on Marcotte's home. The company has had financial backing from construction entrepreneur Tony Accurso, who himself is charged with 12 counts of fraud, forgery, conspiracy, breach of trust and municipal corruption.
Marcotte has been kicked out of his political party and booed out of meetings, but so far has refused to resign.
In October, the Quebec government said it was not possible under current laws for the province to put the city under trusteeship.
Municipal Affairs Minister Sylvain Gaudreault said he understands why residents are frustrated.
"I'm in the obligation to act with the law, and we are in work with the ministry to improve the law in the future," Gaudreault said.
Marcotte did not attend a council meeting on Monday, saying that his wife's son was sick.
He said he is taking time to reflect but will not resign.