Quebec's minister of municipal affairs, Sylvain Gaudreault, has rejected a call from Projet Montréal leader Richard Bergeron to hold a spring election, six months earlier than planned.
Bergeron says an early election may be the only way for the City of Montreal to clean up its scandal-plagued image and avoid being put into trusteeship.
Bergeron's call comes a day after the resignation of Montreal's city manager, Guy Hébert, amid allegations he lied about trying to have the city's police chief fired.
Bergeron told CBC's Daybreak that he finds it difficult to trust many people in Montreal politics.
"It's unbelievable that a man in this position can lie to the mayor of Montreal. It's incroyable!" he said.
"He lied to the mayor, he lied to the city council, he lied to Montrealers."
Mayor Michael Applebaum agreed that the optics don't look good, but he says he handled the controversy appropriately, asking for Hébert's resignation as soon as he found out Hébert had lied.
City administration 'dysfunctional,' police union head says
On Wednesday, the city's executive committee will discuss how to remove Hébert from the payroll — a move Gaudreault supports.
"I told Mr. Applebaum that we're not interested in looking for trusteeship or calling an early election," Gaudreault said.
The president of the Montreal Police Brotherhood, Yves Francoeur, calls the Applebaum administration "dysfunctional" and said he is counting the days until the next election.
"I believe that the opposition parties have made a deal with the devil by agreeing to work with Mayor Applebaum," Francoeur said.
Hinse no better, Bergeron says
As for Hébert's interim replacement, Jean-Yves Hinse, the Projet Montréal chief says he has his doubts about him, too.
"Frankly, I don't trust him more than anybody else," Bergeron said.
The only person Bergeron says he would trust as the city's manager is Rachel Laperrière, who currently serves as deputy minister of culture and communications for Quebec.Laperrière worked for the city from 2001 to 2012, at one time serving as acting general manager.
"We need Rachel Laperrière … it's time for her to be the director-general of the City of Montreal," Bergeron said.