News+Politics June 17, 2013
Dear World: A Lot Of Canada's Mayors Are Cool, We Swear

Mayor Michael Applebaum speaks to reporters in February, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Michael Applebaum, the mayor of Montreal, was arrested by Quebec anti-corruption officers this morning.

He's facing 14 criminal charges, including fraud toward the government, breach of trust, conspiracy and municipal corruption, CBC News reports.

Applebaum was appointed interim mayor last November ? after former mayor Gérald Tremblay stepped down following his own corruption charges.

Ironically, when he arrived in office, Applebaum vowed to end the corruption scandals that have plagued Montreal.

The charges reportedly relate to Applebaum's attempts at obtaining permission and support for two real estate projects in Montreal's Cote-des-Neige/Notre-Dame-de-Grace borough between 2006 and 2011.

This latest arrest comes weeks after allegations of a video that appears to show Toronto mayor Rob Ford using crack cocaine.

Chances are this will lead to a lot of jokes and stories about Canada's mayors and their relationship with the law.

And okay: to be fair, there have been a few other stories of Canadian mayoral misconduct in the news over the past year.

The Atlantic Wire has a helpful rundown, including:

Gérald Tremblay stepping down as Montreal mayor in November of last year after corruption and bribery charges
• London, Ontario mayor Joe Fontana being charged with fraud the same month
• Former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt facing charges over links to organized crime
• And, uh, Winnipeg's mayor Sam Katz facing accusations of littering after he spat out some gum

But let's keep things in perspective. There are lots of other mayors in this country, and most of them aren't facing any criminal charges.

National Post journalist Bruce Arthur is calling on two mayors in particular to remain above the fray:

We've had both Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson on the show in recent years.

Check out Robertson in the video below talking about the Canadian Mayors' Club and his relationship with Rob Ford (keep in mind, the interview took place about a year before the current Ford scandal broke):

And here's Mayor Nenshi's Best Story Ever, about taking over the controls of a fighter jet over the Rocky Mountains.

A lot of people have been taking to Twitter to comment on today's arrest. Here's a little of what they're saying:

What about you? If you live in Montreal or Toronto, what are your thoughts on today's news? And if you live somewhere else, are you a fan of your mayor?


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