Hundreds demand Mascouche mayor’s resignation
Published Sunday, July 8, 2012 4:33PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 9, 2012 5:59PM EDT
MONTREAL—A city councillor in Mascouche organized a protest on Sunday afternoon to send a clear message to the municipality’s embattled mayor: resign.
In mid-April, Mayor Richard Marcotte was arrested on fraud-related charges by Quebec’s permanent anti-corruption unit. On Monday, Marcotte will attend a city council meeting for the first time since his arrest. The veteran mayor's opponents want him to step down and end his 20-year rule of the fast-growing suburb.
Jacques Tremblay, a member of the opposition Vision Democratique de Msacouche party, organized what he called an “apolitical” march to ask for the mayor’s resignation.
"We are asking that he step down for the well-being of the population, because these allegations are bad for the city's reputation," said Tremblay.
Arrested by Surete du Quebec officers as he returned from a trip to Cuba, Marcotte is suspected to have taken bribes or other kick-backs from contractors doing work on the town's water and sewer system.
The mayor’s visit to council on Monday isn’t meant to be antagonistic and will likely occur, despite the protests. Under the city’s charter, Marcotte could be stripped of his pay if he misses Monday’s meeting, he will have been officially absent for three months, and an automatic by-election will be triggered.
With pots and pans in the crowd, a few hundred Mascouche residents walked through the streets of the town, carrying signs declaring “Fraudsters Out!”
Under Quebec’s fixed election law, a municipal vote is scheduled for November 2013.
--with files from The Canadian Press.