12/05/2012 07:27 EST | Updated 02/04/2013 05:12 EST

Applebaum opens executive committee meetings to the public

The mayor of Montreal said he's taking another step toward transparency at Montreal city hall by allowing the public to view executive committee meetings.

The meetings, previously always private, will now be available live online every Wednesday, for everyone to see.

Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum said Montrealers have lost confidence in municipal politicians and this initiative may help turn that around.

"Montrealers need to know that the city is well managed. They want and must gain back the trust in the government that is closest to them," said Applebaum.

About 90 per cent of the committee's upcoming agenda will be displayed online on Tuesdays. However, issues dealing with public security and negotiating contracts will be held in camera along with potentially controversial topics such as the location of safe injection sites.

The new mayor said it is the first time in 300 years that the executive committee meetings will be opened up to the public.

Last month, he said he was bothered to learn of one city report that had been kept not only from the public, but from the mayor at the time, Gérald Tremblay.

The executive committee meeting aired online for the first time Wednesday.

The report published in 2004 stated that construction contracts had been inflated by 30 to 40 percent.

Applebaum mentioned some members of the executive committee at the time – whom he did not name – had decided to bury the report in order to avoid "embarrassing questions."