Tremblay comes under fire at council meeting
Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay speaks to reporters at city hall on Thursday, May 20, 2010.
Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay was bombarded with questions from the opposition at Monday night's municipal council meeting on the actions of city comptroller Pierre Reid and his investigation of auditor general Jacques Bergeron.
Tremblay, however, had few answers to those questions, defending himself and his administration by saying that he too is eager to learn all the details on the matter and that he's asked Municipal Affairs Minister Laurent Lessard to step in and settle the question.
Reid was scheduled to submit a report from the city's auditing committee on Bergeron's actions last year using information that Bergeron says was stolen out of his email inbox.
Bergeron is being accused of handing city contracts to family members, among other transgressions. He was not at Monday evening's council meeting, but is scheduled to appear at a plenary session Tuesday morning to submit his own report on what he's learned about the monitoring of his emails.
Bergeron leaked a copy of his 51-page report to several media outlets over the weekend.
Tremblay was unable to answer a question from Vision Montréal councilor Réal Ménard asking whether or not the email accounts of elected officials or other members of the administration may have been looked at.
Tremblay replied that he had not been informed of any other cases, and therefore could not answer what he called an "important" question.
Prior to the meeting, Vision Montréal and Projet Montréal issued a joint statement that they were opposed to Reid's report being submitted to council.
Vision Montréal Leader Louise Harel and her Projet Montréal counterpart Richard Bergeron consider that the information in the report was obtained "by means that lead to prejudice" and therefore could not be received by council. They also wanted a legal opinion on whether or not the information in the report would stand up in court, considering how it was obtained.
"It's a report to destroy a man, to destroy Mr. Bergeron and destroy the function of the auditor general of Montreal," Harel said. "I sent a letter to the (ethics counselor) because it's sure that if it's possible to spy on the auditor general, why not the members of the elected council? It's a system. It was during 10 months and it's sure that it's possible to spy on the elected members of the council."
Finally, Harel and Bergeron issued yet another call for Reid's resignation and were planning on making a motion to that effect at the council meeting.
With files from The Canadian Press