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On the occasion of Luc Ferrandez‘s resignation from politics, I thought I’d compile a top 10 of Ferrandez moments over the past number of years — a rather worst-of compilation, if you will:

 

10. That time when he got a ticket for riding his Bixi the wrong way down St-Laurent in the middle of traffic. Way to set an example there as a cycling advocate, Luc.

9. Plateau Snow Removal Excuse-Watch 2015… that winter when he just decided not to do any snow removal, and kept coming up with ever-more creative excuses each time.

8. When he attacked and swore at flood victims on Facebook, telling them it was their own fault that their homes were underwater, and charmingly tossing f-bombs at them.

7. That time he suggested we tax everything, including parking, cars, investments, and meat. Oh yeah, that was today.

6. That time he fell asleep during a council meeting, and then threatened to sue the reporters who wrote about it. He claimed he was “just resting his eyes”. That’s what my sister used to say when she’d fall asleep in the backseat of the car on the way home from skiing when we were kids. It was as true for her as it was for him.

5. Amazingly, that may have been one of the only times he actually showed up to a council meeting. He had a tendency to miss those. Like, a lot. So much so that the opposition threatened to call a by-election to replace him in 2012 after he was absent for more than 3 months. (He didn’t respond right away, cause he was — you guessed it — on vacation. I think when it comes to time in office spent actually working, he actually may even be worse than Trump.)

4. The war of words he launched with the fire chief over “traffic-calming” measures that would have blocked emergency access routes. When the fire chief spoke up, M. Ferrandez … tried to get him fired. Yes, really.

3. When he demolished the baseball diamond at Jeanne-Mance park supposedly because it was “too dangerous” (i.e. because one person got hit by a ball)… and when there was a public outcry, he dismissed the players as “hot dog-eating anglophones“.

2. His ongoing war with Plateau merchants about removal of parking spaces. This one’s just kind of a constant facet of his administration. It has come to a head a number of times over the years, notably with a staged shutdown in 2015. But far from listening to the woes of small business owners, Ferrandez only became more dogmatic about his plans, as, one by one, the stores closed up shop and the formerly vibrant streets slowly died.

1. The wildly unpopular closure of Mount Royal to through traffic last summer, which was Ferrandez’s pet project, and which probably cost him whatever was left of his political career.

Believe me, this list could’ve been way longer than just ten things. But this is a pretty decent summary of M. Ferrandez’s years in office.
Don’t let that door hit ya on the way out.

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Luc Ferrandez, the borough mayor of Plateau Mont-Royal, is short on action and long on excuses when it comes to snow removal this winter. Here’s a summary of some of the best ones he’s come up with so far:

January 12: We’re not trying to save money; it’s just that too many blue-collar workers called in sick. Says the guy who had a whopping 48% absenteeism rate from his job last year.

January 22: I lied. We are trying to save money. We can’t afford to clear the streets because of Denis Coderre’s $800k in cutbacks. You have $11.5 million budgeted for snow removal. You mean to tell me you’ve spent it all already? It’s only January.

January 23: Actually, it’s Helen Fotopoulos’s fault; we’re still paying down her administration’s debt. Helen Fotopoulos hasn’t been in power since 2009. This one’s on you.

January 26: Okay, we made a mistake. We’ll remove the snow after all. But only from major arteries.
Because people who live on side streets don’t ever need to get anywhere.

January 27: We decided to prioritize the sidewalks instead of the streets. So then why does the Plateau have the worst-cleared, iciest sidewalks in the city?

To be updated as more excuses appear. Which they no doubt will.

Update: March 4: A long list of excuses for why the Plateau had the least efficient and most expensive snow removal operations in 2014, including:

  • There wasn’t enough snow in three out of the five major storms to warrant clearing it. Even though every other borough did.
  • Progress is reported via social media, not via city databases. That excuses not sending important statistics to a city agency how, exactly? 
  • The streets are narrower than in other boroughs.  So there ought to be less snow to clear.
  • The snow removal equipment is older than in other boroughs. Much of it was replaced last summer, and they’re not any more efficient at snow removal this year.
  • The Plateau is the centre of Montreal’s nightlife, and has more cars and “difficult people” to deal with. The centre of Montreal’s nightlife hasn’t been the Plateau in years, thanks in no small part to Ferrandez and co. And there are fewer cars in the Plateau compared to most boroughs — most residents don’t own one. The only “difficult people” I’m encountering here are M. Ferrandez and company.

 

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