25 October 2012. Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay faced questions about his political future yesterday, one day after Laval Mayor, Gilles Vaillancourt, announced he was stepping aside at least temporarily, citing health reasons. Both municipalities were rocked by testimony during a public inquiry on corruption in construction industry. Both of them have not been charged with any offence. Tremblay said the he will not be stepping down now and will complete the last year of his four year term. Tremblay has not personally been singled out on any wrong doing or been accused of benefiting financially from any schemes, but his city administration has come under attack. “I will have an opportunity to answer all of those questions,” Tremblay said. “But you’ll understand that I have an oath and I cannot answer those questions because once I gave the information to whoever wanted the information I said I would not talk about it publicly because I was sworn in. And as a result of that, I cannot answer those questions.” The fact that he has spoken to the investigators shows that he will eventually be called before the Charbonneau commission. He had in the past called the police to investigate certain matters in the city hall. He however admitted there have been misdeeds at city hall. “The question that is asked: Is there collusion or corruption at the City of Montreal? The answer is yes, but it has been going on for decades,” he said. This is not good for a mayor to say. He has failed to step in to stamp out corruption that he was aware of in his administration. Lino Zambito, a former construction boss testified that the money was paid to a middle man and was allegedly intended for Union Montréal. A former city engineer, Gilles Surprenant, who testified he received more than $600,000 in bribes 2000 and 2008. In 2006, the bribe money started to dry up, Suprenant told the Commission, not because of efforts by any government or police force to crack down on corruption, but because corruption was so systematic that bribing a lowly engineer became an unnecessary burden. Tremblay has denied that his party had received any illegal financing. The provincial government criticised the depths of corruption in Montreal. “Day after day, we see how a system of corruption has grown like a cancer in the Montreal area,” said Jean-François Lisée, the minister responsible for Montreal. Lisée said he believes Montreal and Laval are in a state of political crisis, but there’s little the provincial government can do to force mayors out of office A witness accused Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt of pocketing kickbacks from construction bosses. Police have also raided two of Vaillancourt’s personal residences, his office and bank safety-deposit boxes. Hours after the raid on his bank, Vaillancourt decided to step aside. Vaillancourt has run Laval since 1989. He always won with crushing majority. He had very little political opposition.