PQ targets corrupt politicians with Bill 10
Opposition parties support anti-corruption bill
The Marois government's latest anti-corruption bill against politicians in trouble with the law is receiving support from the opposition parties.
Bill 10 would allow a judge to order any mayor or councillor to be suspended with pay if they face a criminal charge that could lead to a sentence in a federal prison.
This is the latest in a series of bills the Parti Québécois government has introduced to fight corruption.
"I think with this law, all the mayors, all the councillors, will understand that it's a very important responsibility in their hands," said Municipal Affairs Minister Sylvain Gaudreault.
Both opposition parties at the national assembly said they would support the anti-corruption bill.
The mayor of Mascouche Richard Marcotte is the only elected official who would be directly affected by the proposed bill at the moment.
But Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault said this bill will target more people than Marcotte.
"Right now, it applies only to him, but I think with what we see every week at the Charbonneau commission, I expect that we may have other cases. We were close to having one in Laval," said Legault.
"I think it is a question... of moral authority and credibility," added Legault. "We cannot keep – like in Mascouche – somebody who doesn't have the credibility to manage the town of Mascouche."
Critics who support the bill said they're unfazed by the fact that Bill 10 would have mayors suspended before proven guilty in court because they say that in the political arena, appearances are as important as facts.
Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume said the provincial government should not need to impose such laws.
"You get some kind of jerks that get elected and that run some cities, and those guys behave in a way that forces the government to do something," said Labeaume.
The PQ's first proposed law since winning the Quebec election, Bill 1, places the onus on companies to prove they are honest and free of corruption.
The government said it hopes to pass the series of bills before the holiday season.