Embattled Laval Mayor May Resign Tomorrow

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GILLES VAILLANCOURT
Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt makes a statement to the media at City Hall in Laval, Que., Friday, October 5, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Graham Hughes. | CP

Radio-Canada is reporting that several sources have confirmed Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt will resign Friday.

Vaillancourt is to address the media at city hall Friday afternoon and will take no questions, according to reports.

At the Charbonneau inquiry into corruption in Quebec's construction industry, former construction entrepreneur Lino Zambito testified that contracters were expected to pay Vaillancourt 2.5 per cent of the value of projects.

Jean-Yves Lortie, who worked for Vaillancourt as a fundraiser for political parties, told Radio-Canada he gave two separate installments of $15,000 cash to Vaillancourt to get public contracts.

Lortie alleged three to five per cent of the value of all city contracts went back to Vaillancourt.

Vaillancourt's home, city offices and bank accounts have been raided by the province's anti-corruption squad, known by its French acronym, UPAC.

On Oct. 11, five construction firms – Poly Excavation, Louisbourg Construction, J. Dufresne Asphalte, Nepcon and Construction Mergad – were raided by UPAC and investigators from Canada’s competition bureau.

A few days later, Construction Giuliani in Laval, Asphalte Desjardins in Terrebonne and Construction DJL in Boucherville were investigated in connection to the Oct. 11 raids.

Nine engineering firms were targeted by UPAC on Nov. 5 and Nov. 7.

The city of Laval announced on Nov. 6 it was suspending the awarding of new public works contracts involving sidewalks, sewers and aqueducts.

On Oct. 24, Vaillancourt announced through the vice-president of the city’s executive committee that he would be taking a “short rest period” recommended by his doctor.

Vaillancourt has served as Laval's mayor since 1989, and his party PRO Laval has been unopposed for the last decade.

Vaillancourt has vehemently denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

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