Head of Montreal's executive committee resigns

A report that Montreal was paying more for contracts than other municipalities never crossed the mayor's desk, a senior city official has alleged.
Executive committee repressed reports from the public's eye, says senior official. 1:16

Michael Applebaum has stepped down as head of Montreal's executive commitee.

Applebaum says that he is resigning over an internal working document that was suppressed by the committee.

"I have fought for these reports to be known, but the executive committee has chosen instead to suppress it … to save them from embarassing questions," he said in a news conference on Friday.

The 2004 report allegedly showed that Montreal was paying 30 to 40 per cent more on construction contracts compared with other nearby municipalities, according to Applebaum.

He said the report never crossed the mayor's desk.

After seeing the report, the executive committee chose to suppress it, he said. And it will not be made public until after the public question period next Monday.

Applebaum says he first saw the report on Oct. 29 of this year, and that he can't stand behind the decision to hide it from the public.

He said he still believes in his 2013 budget and he is not quitting out of frustration.

After allegations of city corruption surfaced during the Charbonneau corruption inquiry, Applebaum proposed a change to the planned 3.3 per cent tax hike.

He suggested to the executive committee that they abolish the augmentation of the special water tax and keep the general tax increase at 2.2 per cent.

Applebaum said lowering the proposed tax was the responsible thing to do, but other members of the executive committee did not agree.

After 18 years working in city politics, Applebaum will stay on as mayor of the Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.