Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum has given his administration one month to put in place 60 recommendations aimed at preventing collusion and corruption in the awarding of city contracts.
The measures are contained in a report released on Wednesday by former Parti Québécois municipal affairs and transport minister Jacques Léonard, who was appointed last January to look for ways to prevent future abuses.
Léonard, who led a committee made up of city bureaucrats and retired police officers, highlighted a lack of ethics among elected officials and city employees, as well as a lack of cohesion between the city and its boroughs.
The Léonard Report blames disconnects among the city's brass — both administrative and political - for opening the door to corruption.
“The city of Montreal needs to be a solid administration," Léonard said Wednesday afternoon.
Applebaum said he supports all of Léonard's recommendations, including the the centralization of Montreal's finance department.
The mayor said the move will help ensure borough finances are kept in order.
"The finance department … must be able to look at the books and make sure that the city is being financed properly," Applebaum said.
Vision Montréal calls for ethics commissioner
Louise Harel, the leader of municipal opposition party Vision Montréal, said she is concerned the report doesn't go far enough.
She said the city needs an ethics commissioner to ensure corruption does not continue.
Meanwhile, Applebaum is adamant that the full extent of the Léonard Report's recommendations will be brought into force.
He said a committee will be created to oversee the integration of the report's findings. The committee will include a representative from the province's treasury board, who is expected to take a closer look at how Montreal awards city contracts.
"It will be very difficult for the next administration to take this report and put it aside," he said.
"They're going to have to implement it."
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