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Montreal city employees issue public letter to angry city

A lawyer arrives at the Charbonneau commission in Montreal, September 27, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
November 08, 2012 - 10:44 AM

MONTREAL - Montreal municipal employees have issued a public letter to people of the city, saying they care about their community and feel betrayed by corruption too.

The letter comes after a report that municipal employees are being harassed and insulted with increasing frequency.

Montrealers have been fuming over allegations of widespread waste and corruption in the awarding of public-works contracts.

An ongoing inquiry has heard that some municipal employees helped construction companies operate as a cartel — where they fixed bids and inflated the cost of projects.

Some of that illicit profit would be shared with corrupt officials, the Montreal mayor's political party, and the Italian Mafia, according to testimony.

Mayor Gerald Tremblay has stepped down after the inquiry heard he was aware of illegal campaign spending by his party — an allegation denies.

Tremblay says the testimony against him isn't true but he's still quitting for the good of the city.

This is after municipal operations have been partly paralyzed — with some projects frozen, employees fired, and a backlash against the municipal budget.

The city administration tried to increase property taxes last week to pay for better infrastructure, and it was forced to quickly backtrack.

The budget is being rewritten.

An interim mayor will be selected next Friday, in just over a week.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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