The city has suspended the award of contracts valued at $ 75 million time that Québec corrects flaws in the Act 35, a decision which comes at the time where the PQ Government with respect to the Mayor Gérald Tremblay confidence is put to the test.
The Executive Committee took the decision to suspend the granting of all construction contracts, except for reasons of urgency, at the end of its weekly meeting Wednesday evening. Contracts that have already been awarded are not covered by this measure, the Tremblay administration wanted to avoid prosecution on the part of the contractors.
“We have a duty to protect the interests of taxpayers,” said Richard Deschamps, Manager of economic development to the Executive Committee.
By taking this time there, we will be able to offer an opportunity to the new Government [to correct the law]“, he added.
Mr. Deschamps did not appoint private companies to contracts, so they do not interfere with the confidentiality of the bidding process. Cancelled contracts essentially affect the work of water, to about 70 million, and highways and sewers for the remaining 5 million.
In August, Montreal had suspended 14 contracts worth $ 29 million to Louisbourg SBC, a company of Tony Accurso.
The total value of cancelled contracts is now 104 million. This time, Montréal enjoys the ‘administrative flexibility’ measures announced recently by Quebec, a form of insurance against potential lawsuits.
The Tremblay administration is also encouraged by the clear government commitment Marois to review the 35 by the Holidays Act. “We had meetings last week.” “On a some assurance that the Government is firm in his convictions change the law,” said Mr. Deschamps. Effect Zambito?
This new moratorium on the granting of contracts occurs after Lino Zambito had demolished the reputation of the city of Montreal in his testimony to the commission Charbonneau. The contractor said that he should pay a fee equivalent to 3% of its contracts to the Mayor, Union Montréal party. He identified two former tenors of the Tremblay administration, Frank Zampino (former 2 Executive Committee) and Robert Abdallah (former director general of the city), as important of collusion and corruption schemes in place at City Hall. It also showed the finger three engineers suspended without pay since Tuesday, which would be facilitated rigging bids, either the claim of ‘extras’ on the building sites.
This avalanche of negative revelations about corruption in Montreal has inspired the cryptic comments to the Parti québécois (PQ) Ministers, who are unable to give their confidence to Gerald Tremblay.
«Mayor Tremblay should leave his post. I very well said a few days ago. “These are elements of analysis that belong to him,” said the Minister of Municipal Affairs and transport, Sylvain Gaudreau.
“It is to him to know what he has to do in the circumstances,” said the Minister of public safety, Stéphane Bergeron.
Playing prudence, the Minister responsible for greater Montreal, Jean-François Lisée, said it was up to the Mayor to draw conclusions that are needed, while recalling that the allegations heard the Commission Charbonneau have not yet been proven.
“Precipitation, in cases like those, is not the best Advisor, but these are decisions that belong to the elected officials who know in their heart what is true, what is false, in that they hear. “We must to the elect also to let the commission do its work,” commented Mr. Lisée.
Mayor Tremblay can count on Government Marois to plug breaches the Act 35 as soon as possible. The reform will aim to prevent that any contractors or companies convicted criminal or criminal can obtain public contracts through companies ‘screens.
Upon the resumption of work at the end of the month, the PQ ‘immediately’ going to drop a new version of the Act 35, reiterated Mr. Lisée. Quebec wants to make the granting of public contracts in building “the most waterproof possible” collusion.
The opposition fret
At the Town Hall, the opposition sees favourably the suspension of contracts, while finding that Mayor Tremblay in fact too little, too late to save appearances.
“It is as if the mayor were to wake up, said Louise Harel, the head of Vision Montreal.” It is a kind of redemption will. »
More scathing, Richard Bergeron suggested the Mayor do not stop in so good way and ‘hang himself ‘.
The municipal Council, Projet Montréal vote two years ago against the awarding of contracts to companies with questionable ethics, by degree of prudence. Richard Bergeron is delighted that the Mayor finally exercised similar caution in suspending contracts. He now seeks an investigation of the Sûreté du Québec Union Montréal and Gérald Tremblay himself.
With Antoine Robitaille
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