MONTREAL – Really, really hate those potholes?
The mayor of Montreal wants to hear from you. Now.
The City of Montreal has just launched a quick survey to figure out where Montrealers stand on a hot topic dear to all of our hearts and hubcaps.
Do taxpayers think the city be free to sign a $5.2 million contract with seven companies which supply the asphalt needed to patch the latest crop of potholes springing through the pavement — even though three of those firm have been cited by witnesses for alleged wrongdoing at Charbonneau Commission?
When the issue was raised at city council on Monday, Mayor Michael Applebaum conceded Montreal was caught in a Catch-22 situation — should it reward firms alleged to have been engaged in corruption — or punish motorists by failing to fix roads during the spring thaw?
Applebaum and the administration urged council to support the motion, despite allegations of sketchy business practices by three of the seven firms — Construction Louisbourg, Pavage Montreal Nord and DGL Construction.
When opposition councillors led by Projet Montreal’s Richard Bergeron and Vision Montreal’s Louise Harel rejected the motion, the asphalt problem was sent back to the executive committee to find another remedy.
City council wasn’t scheduled to meet again until the end of April. But given the urgency of the problem — snow is melting and holes cracking open daily — council now expects to call an emergency meeting this week to try to resolve the crisis.
Hence the survey to gauge where taxpayers stand on the pothole problem.
The nids-de-poule survey asks Montreal residents what they think the city should do.
Applebaum states his position in favour of going ahead with the contract.
Results of the digital straw poll won’t be binding. But the mayor’s office hopes they will prove helpful in forging a consensus when council meets.