November 14, 2012
Laval, Quebec's longtime 'Monarch' resigns in scandal
A mayor's 23-year reign running the city next to Montreal has ended under the cloud of a corruption scandal, which has darkened a political record once so dominant that even his critics called him, “The Monarch.”
Gilles Vaillancourt, the Laval political dynamo who had since 1989 steamrollered the competition in municipal elections, resigned Nov. 9.
Ongoing scandals have now claimed the careers of the mayors of Quebec's first- and third-largest municipalities, following the departure of Montreal's Gerald Tremblay last week. That has left one-quarter of Quebecers temporarily without a mayor.
Vaillancourt lamented the climate of suspicion in Quebec and continued to dismiss the corruption allegations against him. But he said he had few options, given the harm to his reputation.
“Whatever I do... the damage is done,” Vaillancourt said, reading from a statement.
He touted his record in overseeing the development of a once-sleepy farming community into a bustling and fast-growing municipality. He said he had always worked for Laval residents: “I always acted in their interests... My objective was always to build a strong community.”
Vaillancourt, 72, has been on sick leave since Oct. 24.
Meanwhile, Quebec's anti-corruption unit has closed in on Laval in recent weeks, raiding numerous engineering firms and businesses in addition to Vaillancourt's own home, condo, offices and his bank safety-deposit boxes.
Vaillancourt's name has also been mentioned in ongoing testimony before Quebec's Charbonneau inquiry into corruption.
Former construction boss Lino Zambito testified that Vaillancourt received a kickback on contracts handed out in Laval. Vaillancourt has denied those allegations, as he has denied past allegations that he offered bribes to people involved in provincial politics.
Laval police had a police car stationed outside Vaillancourt's home early today.
A police spokesman said it was purely to maintain order after a reporter had gone onto the property the previous day in an effort to speak to the mayor.
Const. Frank Di Genova said it wasn't Vaillancourt that made the request.
Allegations that the Montreal mayor turned a blind eye to illicit financing of his own municipal party prompted Tremblay to resign last Monday as mayor there. Tremblay also denied the allegations, but said he was quitting for the good of the city.
Unlike Vaillancourt, the former Montreal mayor has never been accused of personally pocketing money. Montreal still faces a leadership crisis, following the mayor's departure.
Reports say the city's No. 2 could be quitting out of frustration with his colleagues — not only because he was passed over as a candidate for interim mayor, but also because he opposes a plan to push ahead with Tremblay's 3.3 per cent hike on property taxes.
The city must choose a temporary replacement for Tremblay by Nov. 16.
In Montreal and in Laval, there can be no snap municipal election under provincial law unless a mayor quits more than a year before the next scheduled vote. The next round of municipal elections will be held in Quebec next November.
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2012
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
- OPG $1 billion proposal to bury nuclear waste up for comment
- Hundreds of workers to be out of work as Caterpillar Inc. is set to close Toronto factory
- Proposed Ambassador Bridge twinning draws Windsor mayor’s ire
- Construction on pedestrian tunnel to Billy Bishop Airport continues to make progress
- Ontario prompt payment bill to get second reading today
- 20 Most Popular Stories
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 316 projects with a total value of $2,787,806,637 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Friday.
$90,000,000 Richmond Hill ON Prebid
$82,000,000 White River Twp ON Tenders
$40,650,000 Markham ON Prebid
- VIDEO: Economic Update May 21, 2013
- VIDEO: Competing in the trades
- Multi-employer approach needed in apprenticeships
- New Perspective
- ACEC’s input helps develop global engineering guidelines
- Clerk of works position gives peace of mind on projects
- World Trade Center developer’s plan for a 926-foot tower moving ahead
- Call for action after MOL says workers are responsible for their own safety
- Cold spring and weak construction hurt Deere’s 2013 predictions
- CanBIM reschedule June session
- More green roofs top Toronto buildings
- Witness recants testimony in Montreal corruption case
- Construction Site Arson
- Industry reacts to surprise B.C. Liberal majority
- Journal of Commerce Update for the week of May 20th, 2013
- Calgary Airport Tunnel
- Worker at centre of union sign up allegations speaks out
- Calgary program aims to get more people into the trades
- Midrise in the City
- Veterans battle barriers into the trades
- Government makes changes to online tendering
- SNC-Lavalin maintains that new bribery allegations have been resolved
- B.C. faces a tough battle for top talent
- Keyano College building state of the art training facility
- Essential skills can play a vital role in an apprentices' success
- Taking a closer look at the risks in green building for contractors
- Colleges conduct construction research in addition to teaching
- Skills Canada BC Competition
- Lower Mainland high school trades program is unique
- Construction Learning Forum aims to educate
- High schools looking for more industry participation
- Industrial construction supervisor program takes off
- Saskatchewan bill passed
- Edmonton garners support for regional cash for arena
- Feds pledge $5 million for Vimy memorial
|ALEX’S ECONOMICS BLOG|
Reed Construction Data Canada’s Chief Economist Alex Carrick discusses current developments in the North American economic environment with emphasis on the construction industry.
- An Overview of Prices and Sales in the Diverging U.S. and Canadian Housing Markets (April 25, 2013)
- Canada’s Precarious Dependence on the Commodity Price Super-Cycle (April 22, 2013)
- Twenty major upcoming residential and transportation terminal construction projects - April 2013 (April 15, 2013)