The Parti Québécois cabinet has resolutely passed an order-in-council that has placed Quebec’s third-largest city, Laval, under third-party management. The decision follows a request made by the interim mayor of Laval, Que., Alexandre Duplessis, in a news conference on Friday that the provincial government place his city under trusteeship. The request of interim mayor was prompted by recent damning allegations witnessed at Quebec’s corruption inquiry, which alleged that almost all existing city councillors in Laval were involved in an illegal political-financing scheme.
The Charbonneau Commission heard from a former long-time agent of the PRO des Lavallois party, Jean Bertrand, that he witnessed money flowing from conspiring construction companies to party officials, including Duplessis, in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He explained that the party officials were later reimbursed by construction companies for their contributions to the party. Duplessis was recently appointed as the interim mayor after the long-time mayor, Gilles Vaillancourt, resigned last fall. Vaillancourt has now been arrested and faces a long-list of corruption charges, including conspiracy, fraud, influence peddling, breach of trust and gangsterism.
The minister responsible for Montreal, Jean-François Lisée, mentioned in a statement that Laval city council will work as usual under trusteeship, although a group of overseers will examine most decisions. Mouvement Lavalois party leader, Emilio Migliozzi, is an anticipated fort-runner candidate for the mayor election in November. He alleged that “what’s improtant to a city is transportation, security, firefighters and public servents. This is all going to be taken care of by the people who work here. What’s going to change is that the big projects like Place Bell and the aquatic complex will be put on hold.”
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