Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay announced his resignation from office due to ongoing allegations of corruption on Monday evening.
Tremblay held the press conference at 7 p.m. but met with councillors from his party at city hall hours before he officially stepped down.
Tremblay said he dedicated himself to the success of Montreal and he denied allegations of misconduct, specifically those made recently at the Charbonneau Commission relating to his own party.
“Under these circumstances, I cannot help anymore,” said Tremblay. “The success of the city is much more important than my personal interests.”
Several executives of Union Montreal, the mayor’s party, have been accused of taking kickbacks in exchange for awarding municipal contracts, during testimonies at the Charbonneau Commission. Tremblay went onto say that he remained skeptical and asked questions over the years but was only ever given documents and memos after the fact.
He accepted full responsibility for what happened but claimed that every time he was informed of corruption or collusion he gave the information to the proper authorities. Tremblay insisted he was unaware of the dishonesty that is currently rocking Quebec politics.
“In politics, perception matters more than the truth. Especially when it is manipulated by multiple factors and agendas, and when the chance to tell the truth is not stated or believed,” he said. “One day, justice will prevail.”
Tremblay took an extended weekend following a testimony from Martin Dumont, former organizer of the Union Montreal, that alleged Tremblay was aware of the scandals going within his office and ignored it. Residents and opposition were quick to criticize a budget tabled by council that aimed to raise taxes by three per cent last week before council reconsidered.
There will not be a municipal election since Tremblay resigned after Nov. 3 and instead city council will appoint a temporary mayor.
With files from Kalina Laframboise