MONTREAL – The City of Montreal is setting up an anti-corruption unit it says will have far-reaching powers to root out collusion.
Mayor Michael Applebaum says the unit will be comprised of about 20 members, mostly experienced investigators.
He told a news conference this morning the investigators will have the power to question all city employees and anyone who conducts business with the city.
That includes being able to look into real-estate transactions, municipal contracts, infrastructure projects and even the purchase of pants for firefighters.
“This new squad will be autonomous and independent,” Applebaum said. “Nobody is untouchable.”
The province already has its own anti-corruption unit called UPAC.
Allegations of widespread corruption in the province over the last year or so have led to the resignation of various mayors, including Montreal’s Gerald Tremblay and Laval’s Gilles Vaillancourt.
Applebaum said he will meet later today with investigators at the Charbonneau Commission, which is looking into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry.
“I’m going to tell you one thing: If I can help stop collusion and corruption in any way whatsoever, I will do so with pleasure.”