Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay’s administration is fighting back after getting slammed by critics including the local police union over corruption allegations.
Earlier Tuesday, Montreal Police Brotherhood’s president Yves Francoeur, announced the union lost its trust in the Tremblay administration after hearing the latest testimony before the Charbonneau commission.
Executive committee member Marvin Rotrand said Francoeur's finger-pointing is going too far and Tremblay has the right to be presumed innocent.
"Nobody has been accused of anything. Nobody's guilty of anything," said Rotrand. "We have one accusation of a person who claims to have ties to the Mafia saying he hears there was something untoward at city hall."
Last week, former construction mogul Lino Zambito testified that Tremblay's political party got payments from construction entrepreneurs.
Zambito told the inquiry that three per cent of the value of each contract issued to a certain group of colluding companies was funneled back to Tremblay's Union Montréal.
As a result, Francoeur said the Tremblay administration should not be in charge of setting the police force’s priorities.
"It's unbelievable in the circumstances that we always have to go to the Tremblay administration to have them approve our orientation, our budget, our priorities because all the corruption allegations that we heard lately are very severe," said Francoeur.
"So we have asked the public security minister and the minister of municipal affairs to look at the problem and to find the appropriate solution."
Executive committee member Claude Trudel said there is no absolute proof of wrong-doing.
"We're at the beginning of the [work] of the Charbonneau [commission] and he's accusing everybody of being thugs or something like that, so [Francoeur] must retract himself," said Trudel.
Opposition preparing censure motion
The concerns from the police union came on the same day as Tremblay’s opponents at City Hall announced their plans to get him out of office.
Both opposition parties are set to file motions at the next council meeting, on Oct. 22, asking for Tremblay to step down.
Louise Harel is calling for all city councillors to vote in favour of her Vision Montreal party's censure motion.
The leader of Projet Montréal, Richard Bergeron, said the city's residents should be able to have confidence in their elected civic representatives.
Even if the motion passes, Tremblay would not be forced to resign. But Bergeron said he will do everything in his power to force the mayor out.