The head of Montreal’s police union says an apparent dispute between the City’s general manager and the chief of police is a case of political interference.
But Montreal's executive committee member responsible for public security, Christian Dubois, has accused the police union of leaking stories about political interference over scheduling frustrations.
In an article on Friday, La Presse reported the City’s general manager, Guy Hébert, was manoeuvring to have the chief of police, Marc Parent, removed.
La Presse reported Hébert's attempts came after Parent asked the city's comptroller to investigate the awarding of a $42 million contract.
The investigation reportedly looked into a contract related to the City's public security communication system.
According to La Presse, Motorola Solutions complained to Hébert that the City rejected its bid for the contract because of favouritism.
On Friday, police union president Yves Francoeur said he believes the City's management was trying to replace Parent with someone who is more supportive of the city’s administration.
Francoeur is now calling on City Hall executives to remove Hébert from his job as general manager.
The allegations follow recent controversy surrounding the City’s decision to end a pilot project that allowed police officers to work three days a week with extended hours. The decision led to tension when Mayor Michael Applebaum said the police union’s president gave him an ultimatum to extend the project.
Dubois says he believes the police union is stirring the pot in response to the schedule changes.
As for Mayor Applebaum, he says he was not aware of any attempts to remove Parent.
He said Hébert and Parent have his unqualified support and both of them play key roles in the City.
"My objective is to move the City forward and to make sure that we have the best people possible to do the job," he said.
Hébert is on vacation until Monday and Applebaum said he will have a talk with him when he returns.
The alleged investigation at City Hall comes after Applebaum announced he would give carte blanche to a special integrity squad to combat corruption.
The indpendent squad, called EPIM — L'escouade de protection de l'integrité municipale — has access to investigate all city transactions.