Posts Tagged ‘gerald tremblay’
Quebec Solidaire co-spokesperson (and general pain) in the ass Amir Khadir has stepped down from his party’s co-leadership role, though he will remain MNA for his riding of Mercier. I’ve narrowly escaped being represented by him by about half a block — though my local Pequiste MNA on this side of the street is not much of a consolation prize. At any rate, this leaves the relatively popular Francoise David — who was out in front during much of the last campaign — as the party’s sole spokesperson for now, and presumably leaves the door open for someone new to step up as co-leader in time for the next election.
QS is probably reacting to the upswing in popular vote that they enjoyed in the last election, which didn’t translate to seats but provided them with a foundation. Khadir has been a controversial, polarizing figure for most of his political career, and QS might be banking on more success next time around with a different face on their posters. Too, they may be reacting to the news this week that the NDP is considering forming a provincial party in Quebec, which would provide a federalist alternative for voters on the left who are unimpressed with their current options. QS is unabashedly separatist, but gets a lot of support from the progressive groups regardless of their stance on national unity, and a provincial NDP could siphon off some of that support… eventually.
Meanwhile in Laval, Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt plans to announce his resignation on Tuesday, according to new reports. He’s been hunkered down ever since the testimony of the Charbonneau Commission basically followed a trail of corruption right to his doorstep.
And here on the island, speculation is rife that Mayor Gerald Tremblay will step down as well. The wolves are circling here too, and Tremblay has a negative-a-thousand percent chance of getting re-elected or holding onto his job. Though there has been no official word yet, he probably has no choice but to step aside. The only question is whether there will be anyone worthwhile to take his place.
The opposition at city hall pretty much consists of bigots and crackpots — which is why so many of us knowingly voted for the crooks in the first place. But with anger over the impunity of the corruption — and the ill-timed tax hikes — at an all-time high, there may be no choice but to let those chips fall where they may. Personally, I don’t believe that the next mayor will be any better, since the corruption at city hall is so institutionalized as to be practically part of the walls. As Henry Aubin points out, simply booting the mayor without getting someone better in as a replacement won’t help much. It’s like covering up mould and mildew with a coat of paint; it does nothing to solve the underlying issue.
The Charbonneau Commission is bringing to light all sorts of allegations that most Quebecers assumed to be true for a long time. However, it risks being used — by the PQ, by the opposition — as a sort of witch-hunt tool. If all it does is to bring in regime change, the corruption will simply change hands to the new politicians. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Update 11/05: Tremblay has made it official.
There’s a news conference happening right now, so we should know in a few minutes if Avenue du Parc will get to keep its name.
If it does, this will be a big symbolic victory for democracy over the autocratic-style Tremblay mayoral regime. The opposition to renaming the street in honour of Robert Bourassa was overwhelming, and the edict was issued without a single public consultation. It’s only a street name, sure, but it’s a very big deal to a lot of people, and in many ways representative of the ongoing language tensions in Montreal. A victory here would be symbolically huge.
Update: Victory! Park Avenue is saved!
The Merchant’s Association delayed their annual street festival in order to campaign against the name change. Something tells me that people will be making up for it with a big party tonight.
The city’s mayor is all aghast that the man in charge of selling Montreal to international tourists dissed the condition of our roads:
The fate of Charles Lapointe, the city’s chief tourism promoter, hangs in the balance after he publicly trash-talked the condition of Montreal’s streets.
Directors of Tourism Montreal will hold an emergency session Thursday after Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay suggested Wednesday that Lapointe should be booted from his job because he has undermined the city’s international reputation.
Lapointe stepped over the proper line of conduct Tuesday when he issued a public warning that the city risks losing tourism traffic unless it cleans up its act, Tremblay told reporters at a city hall news conference.
Tourism Montreal’s directors, he added, “should be asking themselves: ‘is Mr. Lapointe still credible to sell Montreal?’ ”
So according to Tremblay, credibility is achieved by . . . lying?
That’s the only explanation for why Lapointe is taking so much flack for voicing what can only be described as the truth. Our roads are a mess. Anyone who goes outside can see that. Is the city looking for someone who will merely compliment the Emperor’s New Clothes? I really think someone needs to redefine the term “credibility” for these guys.
Here’s a thought: Instead of firing Lapointe, why not, you know, actually fix the problem and clean up the streets?
But that would imply that perception ought to be based on some semblance of reality. And that’s clearly not a position that Tremblay’s team endorses:
The mayor acknowledged that the city does have a problem with dirty streets, but “not all truths should be said in public,” the mayor added.
Remind me, M. Tremblay, exactly whose credibility is the issue here?
So much for all of his talk about “democracy” at city hall… Tremblay got his way after pressuring his councillors, and Park Avenue will soon be no more.
I’m not sure which is sadder: that Park’s name is being changed, or that this is the only issue for which Tremblay has cared enough about to fight for since taking office.
City politics are a mess, and it’s time for some new thinking down at City Hall. How about this: Segacs for Mayor! Not only will I change Avenue Bourassa back to Park Avenue, but I also promise to change Rene-Levesque back to Dorchester, Marcel-Laurin back to Laurentian, and – for good measure – Lionel-Groulx metro station to… anything else. Maybe I’ll even open that one up to a vote.
The latest summer fluff exercise from the Montreal Gazette took the form of a survey about Montreal, which, by design, generated the sort of stereotypical answers you might expect from a Montreal of perhaps 20 years ago. I mean, who would really elect Leonard Cohen mayor? Nobody, except that even less people would choose the other three options. According to the survey, we love Old Montreal and hate potholes (duh) and we prefer smoked meat to poutine or Orange Julep (well, some of us, I suppose).
The Gazette may try, but it’s still got nothing on the Mirror’s Best of Montreal. After all, who can resist lines like “here’s to the Big O, finally paid off 30 years after a man had a baby.” And it says a lot that in the Montrealer closest to hell category, Karla Homolka was beaten out by Gerald Tremblay AND Jean Charest. (The latter is particularly ironic in light of this).
Yes, I actually voted in today’s municipal elections. I wasn’t going to bother. After all, as I mentioned before, lack of decent choices is truly depressing. But ultimately, friends convinced me that I should at the very least exercise my right to vote, so I can exercise my right to complain later.
So I dutifully trotted over to the local polling station and listened to two women in line behind me discuss how they believed Jesus Christ was on their side and he should burn all the evil-doers and how the rioters in Paris were on their side and were burning the evil-doers… yes, these are the people who are voting for our leaders. But I digress.
Anyway, it now seems that Gerald Tremblay has been re-elected as king – er – mayor of Montreal. I guess Montrealers felt that Tremblay, who fought against demergers after promising to decentralize, is bad but Bourque, who pressed for the mergers in the first place, was worse. And I can’t really blame them for that sentiment.
Still awaiting results in my own borough of CDN-NDG. The official results site isn’t much help, either. Typical.
Update: The Tremblay team candidate, Michael Applebaum, has been elected as borough mayor.
Paul’s back. And blogging up a storm. Get thee over to his place, quick.
Update: Paul also wins my prize for quote of the day, with this insightful analysis about the Tremblay-versus-Bourque municipal election race:
Do any of you remember that episode of South Park where they’re selecting a new school mascot and are reduced to choosing either a giant douche or a turd sandwich? Life really does imitate art sometimes…
We missed ya, Paul! Sure good to have you back.
Once again, us Montrealers are faced with the choice between really really bad and… really really bad, as we head to the polls on November 6th.
My electoral card came in the mail today, and with it, the inevitable depression that always hits me during a particularly awful election.
See, the crux of the matter is this: If over 60% of Iraqis could face the threat of bombs, guns and terrorism to exercise their right to vote, then who the hell am I to sit at home during even a seemingly inconsequential election? What gives me the right to take my right to vote for granted and to treat it so lightly?
On the other hand, what would possess an otherwise sane person to go out and cast a ballot for someone like Gerald Tremblay, who promises to fix the roads but is really just fixing his coffers after breaking his promise to decentralize and fighting the demergers tooth and nail using every trick in the book?
Or Pierre Bourque, who fancied himself king of Montreal and helped spearhead the mergers in the first place, and is hoping that a few years of Tremblay’s reign will make us forget his autocratic, dictatorial style?
Then there’s third-candidate Richard Bergeron, who promises an all-out war on cars that makes me wonder if he’s secretly having long lunches with “Red Ken” Livingstone.
And best of all? The only protest party on the ticket is the ridiculous but ultra-leftist White Elephant Party.
Hmmmm… time for a write-in campaign?
Update: It’s not all boring. At least one guy has a sense of humour:
What is this guy, some kind of comedian? Rick Blue of the satirical duo Bowser and Blue is a council candidate in Beaconsfield. The official candidates list says he lives on “Dork Drive.”
Okay, Bowser and Blue are my first nominees for write-in candidacy.
Better late than never on this one: This would be sad if it were anyone else… but because it’s Gerald Tremblay, it’s extremely funny:
Will Mayor Gerald Tremblay have to stop using “Go” in his election slogan?
Quebec’s language watchdog yesterday said it will investigate complaints that Tremblay is contravening the provincial French language charter by illegally using English on election material.
[ . . . ]
The use of the English word “Go” is not a problem on election posters and billboards because the charter doesn’t apply to signs that feature “religious, political, ideological or humanitarian” messages of a non-profit nature.
But that exception does not extend to pamphlets.
The OLF is also chasing Bourque for the crime of distributing English-only brochures in my area:
Il y a quelques jours, l’équipe Bourque/Vision Montréal a également été montrée du doigt après avoir distribué des dépliants uniquement en anglais dans les arrondissements de Côte-des-Neiges et de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
This election is actually very sad, because I detest both Tremblay and Pierre Bourque. I voted for Tremblay last time because he promised to de-centralize the megacity… and he promptly reneged on that promise and spent his entire term trying to circumvent the demerger process. As for Bourque, it was his egomaniacal ambition that sparked the whole merger fiasco in the first place. I have no intention of voting for either of them.
So it’s amusing to see both candidates on the defensive due to language policies designed to oppress the “maudites anglaises”.
The best graffiti of election posters seen so far: on the corner of Sherbrooke and Decarie, under a big poster of Tremblay reading “Go Montreal”, someone scribbled the word “away”. Please, M. Tremblay, just go away.