Quebec and Montreal announce new measures to fight corruption
Published Monday, December 10, 2012 6:43PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 11, 2012 8:09AM EST
There's no doubt the city's been in crisis, but the worst is behind us, the minister responsible for Montreal said Monday.
Jean-Francois Lisee teamed up with Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum to announce a new plan to fight corruption.
“We're in tough times -- that's clear. But the toughest part of the tough times is when you haven't started repairing the damage, and certainly we've started repairing the damage,” said Lisee.
The plan begins with Quebec making amendments to Bill 1, the anti-corruption legislation adopted last week.
The law will ensure that any company bidding on a municipal road or sewer contract worth more than $100,000 will need accreditation from the Autorité des marchés financiers, Quebec’s securities regulator.
Initially, it only applied to much bigger contracts, worth more than $50 million.
Lisee said Montreal's reputation may be damaged, but Montreal can recover and carve out a new one.
“If we do this right, we can be known as the city that has been the most forceful fighting corruption,” he said.
The City of Montreal will also create an advisory committee to make recommendations on how to improve transparency in the bidding process.
“Our bidding process, our tenders, and a follow-up of course after the work has been given out to make sure that our contracts are properly done to fight collusion and corruption,” he said.
The opposition at Montreal city hall said this is a step in the right direction, but creating a new committee doesn't go far enough.
Vision Montreal wants the city to have an ethics commissioner “with real powers to investigate and to sanction not only firms, but also employees and elected officials,” said leader Louise Harel.
The city said it's never too late to restore transparency.
The committee will make its recommendations by June 2013.