04/05/2013 04:08 EDT | Updated 06/05/2013 05:12 EDT

Council votes to continue asphalt supply despite concerns

Councillors at Montreal city hall voted in favour of continuing to buy asphalt from the city's seven regular suppliers, despite the fact many of them have been caught up in Quebec’s corruption inquiry.

City council had originally balked at awarding the asphalt contract to suppliers that had been named during the Charbonneau corruption inquiry.

The city’s contract for its asphalt supply was set to run out on April 15 and councillors were forced to decide between letting the asphalt supply run out, or awarding the multi-million dollar contract to companies that had come under suspicion.

Mayor Michael Applebaum even reached out to the public several weeks ago through an online poll. He asked Montrealers to vote on whether the contracts should be honoured.

Sixty per cent of respondents voted against buying the asphalt.

But Applebaum said council had no choice.

"It's a difficult situation for the elected officials, but you have to realize that for the security of Montreal, for the economic development of Montreal — it's important that we go forward," he said.

Many councillors said they were voting reluctantly.

Earlier this week, Vision Montréal Leader, Louise Harel, suggested the city should look into building and operating its own asphalt plant.