Montréal Mayor Gérald Tremblay quits

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Montréal Mayor Gérald Tremblay quits



... or he will, in a few minutes...

ETA: Ok, he said the words. Time for the next crook to take over.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Just in time for the PLQ leadership race!


Ohhhh, I don't think soooo. 70 years young and many years of faithful civic service, in accordance with his Judeo-Christian values (I'm not making this up - just heard him say it live!), he has earned the right to rest from his labours.


Let's get a progressive candidate 


There won't be an election till November 2013.


Tremblay is certainly at an age at which retirement (even if not desired) is honourable and respectable.

NorthReport, there is a generally progressive political party, Projet Montréal, which is very strong on environmental and "urbanisme" (town planning) issues. It does have some problems though. Richard Bergeron, its leader, is a bit of a loose cannon and a bit "strange". More seriously he has a top-down idea of how to build a green city, and is often annoyed or worse by social movements, in particular, the recent student movement.

Oh, I still vote for PM, but I like a lot of its local district councillors better than their mayoral candidate.


Here is the full (English) text of Mayor Tremblay's resignation speech:

[url=]From CJAD radio[/url]



How nice he waited until after the weekend so there would be no election

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

He went out as he has always been. Cowardly, awash in self pity, and oblivious to all but that which affects him personally.

In a rare 7PM news conference (timed to miss the supper hour newscasts, naturally), Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay announced his resignation.

"I am committing my last act of love for Montreal. After twenty five years of service to this community I am leaving public life".

In his parting words to the city, Tremblay denied any and all responsibility. He proclaimed his innocence and cast himself as a victim, saying that one day history would show him to have been a crusader against corruption.

"I have always promoted the values of honesty, integrity and trust", he said. But he was let down by his subordinates. He said that he was never aware of anything more than rumours prior to 2009, and decided that he should run again, because he was the best person to clean up the mess.

Ethan Cox: Montreal Mayor Tremblay resigns amid corruption scandal

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Remember that time Tremblay saved the McGill student from a mugger? Doesn't he get any credit for that?

Maysie Maysie's picture


You're stuck with Rob until his 70th birthday. Still jealous, Maysie?

Maysie Maysie's picture



Okay, enough drift. 



From Tremblay's speech:

I do want you to know that, with these crooks gone, the foundations of the city are strongly built, and in the hands of thousands of women and men of integrity who are capable and dedicated to public service and who share a passion for Montreal.

Unless he was referring to himself, the man is so shameless that even at this point, he refused to name the "crooks" (he means four city employees who have been suspended in recent days, I think). He also continues to whine and weep that the Charbonneau Commission wouldn't call him to testify and defend himself - as if he can't just make his explanation publicly, on his own, with his hand on a stack of Judeo-Christian bibles if he so chooses.

If you or I commit conspiracy and robbery, and are publicly exposed, we can't just quit our jobs and move on. We still can expect to face police investigation and charges and a chance to defend ourselves in court. Nothing will even begin to change unless Tremblay and his accomplices are treated as ordinary citizens would be treated. The same goes for the mayors of Laval and Mascouche and the soon-to-be-revealed crooks at the provincial level.

I'm hopeful, but not optimistic.


Another little petty tyrant - Mayor of Laval since 1989 (!) - is rumoured to be quitting tomorrow. I'm shocked - I thought he was going to run out his sick leave credits first:

[url= Gilles Vaillancourt to step down Friday: reports[/url]



Union Montréal has voted to back Richard Deschamps in next week's council vote (Nov. 16), which virtually guarantees he will be the next mayor.


If Vaillancourt quits, will this thread be renamed? Richard Marcotte, the mayor of Mascouche (a town north of Mtl and Laval) has actually been arrested in connection with a corruption investigation). When will he go?


Ok, Vaillancourt is gone.

In the 2009 elections, Vaillancourt won about 62% of the vote. He won every single one of the 21 "districts". Candidates of his party PRO (no one knows what the letters stand for, they just call it "Gilles Vaillancourt's party") won every single city council seat as well. Only one PRO candidate out of 21 failed to make 50% or more of the vote (he got 47%).

A CROP poll last year asked whether Lavallois(es) believed that the allegations against Gilles Vaillancourt were well-founded. 68% said "yes". About the same number said "no" when asked whether he should resign.

Since about the same time, Amir Khadir has been calling on the government to investigate the situation in Laval - in vain. Today, he commented that he hopes now, at last, the government will emerge from their torpor and either send an independent investigator to oversee council business until the next elections, or place Laval in trusteeship - or something - anything.

I'm just telling you all because we Quebeckers have been shaking our heads in disbelief for years. Why shouldn't other Canadians shake along with us in solidarity?

More popcorn, please.


The next popcorn-worthy developments should be the election of the interim mayor for Montréal. Applebaum is majorly pissed, has quit, and there are apparently dissenting factions within Union Montréal, such that the election of Deschamps (whose candidature a majority of Union Montreal councillors chose to put forward) is not absolutely guaranteed.


The main reason Applebaum claimed he quit was that he had just become aware (!) of a 2004 report saying that Montréal public works projects cost 30-40% more than other Canadian cities, and that the executive committee was refusing to release the report until after the weekend, to avoid embarrassing questions.

It was a weak story to start with. And it's just become weaker, with ex-director general of the city, Robert Abdallah, telling media that the whole executive committee knew about the report. That's calling Gérald Tremblay a liar - but Michael Applebaum too.




Unionist, Applebaum is your borough mayor, non? I'm not very familiar with CDN/NDG politics as when I was studying at UdM and later when a friend was MÉMO (secular party) school board member for CDN. I seem to recall Applebaum being a bit of a reactionary prick in the pocket of "developers" and relatively unconcerned about the dire housing conditions found "down the hill" in certain northernly parts of CDN (for non-Montréalais, up the hill is near University of Montreal and other institutions, and a relatively prosperous area, with some areas that are downright posh).


Yes, unfortunately Applebaum has not yet resigned as mayor of my borough. I don't want to accuse anyone of being in the pocket of developers - I'll wait for the Charbonneau Commission to do that! But I have never seen any concern from him about housing conditions confronting the main immigrant populations (African & Afro-American, Filipino, Latino, Indian & Pakistani, Arab, etc.), whether north of the Jewish General Hospital or in the poorest sections of NDG. I've sensed a bit more concern from Helen Fotopoulos, and certainly Peter McQueen. But we must now have the most impoverished neighbourhoods in Montréal, or close, and I see nothing on the horizon to address that. I regret to say I'm not very active on municipal and arrondissement issues and don't know the players as well as I should.

ETA: Forgot to mention, lagatta... Did you notice this bizarre story last month?

[url= breach allegation lodged against Peter McQueen[/url]

The crooks rising in indignation to accuse the honest man... Some days I just shake my head... but I <3 Montréal!

Oh, and make sure to read all the heartwarming comments after that article. No one is fooled.


Peter McQueen strikes me as almost ludicrously, or at least nerdily, honest (yes, he is as you see in the photo) and the kind of person who wouldn't be capable of telling a lie even to protect a refugee from deportation to a warzone.

I confess I do wish he would take voice lessons. Yes, that is superficial of me and no judgement of him; I simply want Peter to get re-elected and heard. Poor guy has a voice that grates like nails on a chalkboard, whether in English or in French. He strikes me as a tireless advocate for the citizenry, and has certainly been fighting for years to establish a safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists at a very dangerous crossing by the Décarie expressway and ... the NDG portion of the main east-west bicycle path, where there are also many very young and very old pedestrians trying to cross.

Yes, I saw that story and heard it in several media outlets. Absurd. Peter certainly isn't opposed to re-opening Cinéma V. I think he is simply cognizant that such re-openings can be a frosting on a real-estate deal, and that people's taxes are used to subsidize such an investment, the whole building should benefit citizen groups.

For some reason I can't read the comments on my computer; will go somewhere (library) where I can. But for now, I'm off for a bicycle ride on this gloriously warm November day...


Michael Applebaum will run for the mayoralty. I'm so shocked. I had no idea.


Yes, I heard that too.

Frankly, his French simply isn't good enough. I'd love to see someone who isn't "QuébécoisE pure laine" become mayor, but he or she really must speak grammatically correct Frech.

And who on earth is more old-school "Union Montréal" than Applebaum? I've never heard him speak out against the dire social problems in the poorer parts of either CDN or NDG. NDG isn't all "Monkland Village" or quasi-Westmount either.


Applebaum has been in discussions with Vision Montréal and Projet Montréal looking to form a coalition.

His vice-chair (before he resigned as chair of exec committee) Alan de Sousa condemned him yesterday, saying Applebaum lied about who knew what when about the 2004 report on public works in Mtl costing up to 40% more than other cities. He also condemned the notion of a coalition. He said it's all sour grapes by Applebaum for losing out to Deschamps in getting the nod.

Then, this morning:

Six Union Montréal councillors have defected as of now. That means Tremblay's party no longer has a majority in council!

The secret ballot council vote to choose a new interim mayor (to serve till Nov 2013 elections) takes place Friday.

I'm clean out of popcorn. Donations, please?



Richard Deschamps just announced that he's in favour of a coalition too. Alan de Sousa was standing next to him, grinding his teeth.

Hilarious. Sad.

love is free love is free's picture

with rotrand's declaration (he's a heavy hitter, for those who don't really follow municipal politics), applebaum now has 10 votes for his accession to the mairie.  it's expected that vision montreal will come out for him too with their 18 votes, and there are a couple independent members who don't caucus with anyone (but lean more to the left) who are total question marks, along with project and its 10 councilors.  so the union faction now has 27 members who are assumed to support descamps, the annointed candidate.  if they vote as a bloc (unclear), then applebaum would need the support of vision montreal, no question.

it seems that a couple more defections are expected, but not enough to change that dynamic: if applebaum is to win out over deschamps, harel will be kingmaker.


Latest news (I only see it on the Radio-Canada ticker at the moment) is that Vision Montréal will not present a candidate and will not provide voting instructions. Apparently, there are conflicting views within Vision Montréal regarding Applebaum.

I don't believe Projet Montréal has made its intentions public yet.


Votes are being counted right now; the results should be out soon.

Bergeron apparently said explicitly that Projet Montreal would "allow" (it's a secret ballot, anyway, so...) members to spoil their ballots if they find both candidates unacceptable. Along those lines, Piper Huggins, Projet Montreal councillor in the Plateau, has tweeted "Wolves in lambs clothing remain wolves; misguided or desperate to imagine savior where there is none? Merit in content not fluff!"


After an inexplicably long delay, the results are in:

63 ballots

3 rejected

31 votes for Applebaum

29 for Deschamps


Applebaum squeaked by, 31 votes to 29, probably because he at least made a show of dissent from Union Montréal. 

His French is really shitty, though - that will be painful to hear. He was whining about people not wanting to elect an anglophone, but those are two separate issues. Nowadays there are many anglophones and allophones who speak fluent French. 

I was going to say I doubted someone who spoke broken English could be elected mayor of Toronto, but while he has no accent from another language, I don't think Ford can be considered "fluent" in anything but spouting rubbish. 


Actually, in a funny way, he's "fluent". He talks without hesitation and understands when others speak. His accent hurts my ears and his grammar sucks. But he's totally functional. Not surprising given his many years in the "business". Did you hear Louise Harel the other day, "I wish I spoke English as well as Michael Applebaum speaks French"? In part she was being gallant, and in part she was refuting the media speculation that linguistic ability would be a primordial consideration. But it's clear to me that he functions daily in French (painful as it may sound), while Harel doesn't in English.

Most important - Applebaum's "coalition" approach struck a chord with both Vision and Projet. Smart boy. And Richard Bergeron has now said that Applebaum promised Projet two seats on the executive committee.

Popcorn. I'm od'ing!!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Here you go, good friend:

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

More for my good buddy Unionist:

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Since that's not enough, here's more:

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Cheese and caramel corn for Unionist:

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Unionist wrote:

Were those 3D glasses in the middle one??


Indeed. I figured you'd need them to watch the Montreal mayoralty show. Laughing

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

If you promise to brush your teeth afterwards, you may have some of this:


Nom nom nom smack slurp thank you!

Were those 3D glasses in the middle one??

Oh, did I mention that Applebaum is the first anglo mayor in 100 years? And he has to be the first Jew ever. I'm embarrassed to say that #AngloJewMayor was trending on Twitter yesterday. Some samples (out of hundreds):


#anglojewmayor Mon Dieu! Who woulda thunk Mtl. would have an Anglo mayor "before" the Leafs would win another Stanley Cup?

Mayor Applebaum to replace the Santa Claus Parade in Montreal with Rabbi Yabinowitz riding a Chanukah float down Parc Avenue. #AngloJewMayor

It's progressive & inspiring that #Montreal is using hash tag #AngloJewMayor in a positive way. Congrats Michael Applebaum.

Chicken soup mandatory at meetings dealing w/ construction contracts. It won't help? It won't hoit. This u call a contract.?

Don't worry about fixing the streetlights. I'll sit in the dark. #AngloJewMayor

And from our good friend Justin Ling:

What's next, a unilingual Anglo coach of the Habs- wait. Nevermind. #AngloJewMayor


Ethan Cox Ethan Cox's picture

Thanks, Ethan. Old wine in newish bottles. 

"Don't worry about fixing the streetlights. I'll sit in the dark". Hey, AngloJewMayor wouldn't say that, AngloJewMayor's MOTHER would! And his parents are both still alive, and he says, very proud of him. 

At least it is a change from Italian mob jokes... 


Well, I did say in post #1 above: "Time for the next crook to take over."



It never stops.

[url=     Tremblay aide’s appointment lashed[/url]


The nomination of the former chief of staff for ex-mayor Gérald Tremblay to a lifetime civil service director’s job is an unacceptable “golden parachute” and political patronage posting, Projet Montréal Leader Richard Bergeron charged Thursday.

The city announced Wednesday that Agop Evereklian had been named director of institutional affairs with the city of Montreal, responsible for relations between the municipal government and its provincial, federal and international counterparts to aid in development of the city. Evereklian served as chief of staff for Tremblay and for the executive committee for 18 months.  [...]

Members of Projet Montréal’s cabinet are barred from seeking lifelong civil service jobs, Bergeron said.

Good for Projet Montréal!


Ken Burch

So...when do Mayor Applebaum and the rest of the lot have to face the actual voters again? 



November 2013. Lots will happen before then. Trust me. Or rather, mistrust them.


Gérald Tremblay has got his wish. He started testifying before the Charbonneau Commission this morning - resumes at 2 pm eastern time.

In the bits I've caught so far: He never eats breakfast or lunch. After his 17-18 hour work day, he'd eat with his wife around 8:30 pm at home. He has never drunk coffee or smoked cigarettes. He learned the values of honesty and integrity from his parents. He never heard of any corruption or collusion or questionable financing of his party - except of course the rumour that Guy Coulombe passed along, at the very beginning of his mayoralty, about "brown envelopes" circulating in city hall - but there was no proof, and he never asked the police to look into it. He didn't know about his right-hand man Frank Zampino's friendship and frequent cruises and trips to Vegas with Tony Accurso, Paolo Catania, etc.

He is a good man.


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Perhaps this has all been just a misunderstanding.



Also: when he fires someone, he just doesn't bother with bureaucratic things like "giving reasons" explaining why the person is being fired.