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gerald tremblay

Quebec Solidaire Amir Khadirco-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.


Missing the point


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 […]

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No more Park Avenue


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 […]

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Old Montreal good, potholes bad


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 […]

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Tremblay re-elected


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 […]

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Return of the blogger


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 […]

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Municipal election blues


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 […]

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Go… Away


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 […]

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Olympics not so smart


Hopefully Tremblay has been brought back to reality on his nonsensical Olympic musings.

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