A poll released Saturday, commissioned by CROP and French-language newspaper La Presse, has found that 43 per cent of respondents want Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay to resign immediately.
The poll surveyed 831 people online between October 3 and 4. La Presse did not provide a margin of error for the results, saying one would not apply because of the methodology used. Nine in 10 respondents said they didn’t want Tremblay to run for office in the next election.
On Friday, a group of citizens showed their opposition to the administration by taking to the street outside Montreal’s City Hall and calling on Tremblay to step down.
The protest followed damning testimony earlier this week by onetime Montreal construction mogul Lino Zambito.
Zambito told Quebec's corruption inquiry that a portion of the value of public works contracts was funnelled to Tremblay's political party, Union Montreal.
It was the first time at the inquiry that testimony has linked direct payments from construction entrepreneurs to Tremblay and his party.
Tremblay has denied the allegations and said his party's finances have been verified every year by Quebec's chief electoral officer without any findings of wrongdoing.
Concordia University political economy professor Harold Chorney said the recent allegations against Tremblay have been very damaging to his reputation.
"He's deeply wounded. I would be surprised if he could ever get himself elected again," said Chorney.
Even if Tremblay is cleared of any misdeeds over the course of the Charbonneau commission, Chorney said his reputation will likely never recover. He said citizens will question why he wasn't aware of the alleged corrupt dealings within his administration.
On Saturday, Premier Pauline Marois told the CBC’s Radio Canada that there is a possibility her administration will evaluate the decision to put Montreal under trusteeship depending on the findings of the corruption inquiry.
Support for future Mayoral candidates
In the meantime, Montrealers are eyeing future Mayoral candidates. According to the CROP/La Presse poll, 26 per cent of respondents are leaning towards Liberal MP Denis Coderre to replace Tremblay as leader of Union Montreal.
But that’s not necessarily an option. Coderre has said he will run for either the federal Liberal leadership or the Montreal mayoralty, and he'll announce his decision in November.
Support for Coderre in the poll is followed by 14 per cent for former Bloc Québecois leader Gilles Duceppe and 8 per cent for former Federal Liberal and Provincial Cabinet Minister Liza Frulla.