Missing the point

01.31.07

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?

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