10/09/2012 03:25 EDT | Updated 12/09/2012 05:12 EST

Montreal Police Union Turns Its Back On Mayor Tremblay

Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay's administration is reacting to comments made by the city's police union.

Earlier Tuesday, Yves Francoeur, the president of the Montreal Police Brotherhood, said allegations of corruption that have surfaced during the Charbonneau inquiry into the construction industry have tainted his association's view of Tremblay.

Francoeur is asking the provincial government to step in and strip the Tremblay administration of its power to set police budgets and priorities.

"It's unbelievable in the circumstances that we always have to go to the Tremblay administration to have them approve our orientation, our budget, our priorities because all the corruption allegations that we heard lately are very severe," he said. "So we have asked the public security minister and the minister of municipal affairs to look at the problem and to find the appropriate solution."

Officials at City Hall called Francoeur's comments "irresponsible" and said there was no proof of wrongdoing on the mayor's part.

Executive committee member Claude Trudel said "we're at the beginning of the [work] of the Charbonneau and he's accusing everybody of being thugs or something like that, so he must retract himself."

Another member of the committee, Marvin Rotrand, said Francoeur's finger-pointing is going too far and Tremblay has the right to be presumed innocent.

"Nobody has been accused of anything. Nobody's guilty of anything. We have one accusation of a person who claims to have ties to the Mafia saying he hears there was something untoward at city hall," he said.

However, Francoeur is not the first person to voice his concerns about Tremblay.

Both opposition parties at City Hall are set to file motions at the next council meeting, on Oct. 22, asking for Tremblay to step down.

Municipal opposition leader Louise Harel is calling for all city councillors to vote in favour of her Vision Montreal party's censure motion.

The leader of Projet Montréal, Richard Bergeron, said the city's residents should be able to have confidence in their elected civic representatives.

Even if the motion passes, Tremblay would not be forced to resign. But Bergeron said he will do everything in his power to force the mayor out.

Charbonneau testimony points to Tremblay

Last week, former construction mogul Lino Zambito testified before the Charbonneau commission and alleged that Tremblay's political party got payments from construction entrepreneurs.

Zambito told the inquiry that three per cent of the value of each contract issued to a certain group of colluding companies was funnelled back to Tremblay's Union Montréal.

The payments were allegedly made to former Mivela Construction president Nicolo Milioto, who was identified by police and Zambito as a middle-man between construction bigwigs and Montreal's Rizzuto Mafia family.

Zambito said the payments began in 2005 or 2006.

It was the first time at the inquiry that testimony has linked direct payments from construction entrepreneurs to Tremblay and his party.

Tremblay has been mayor of Montreal since 2002.

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