It’s Time For Courage, Time For Change!

The current election should make one thing quite clear – Montreal needs sweeping changes at City Hall! There really is not much of an argument left for Gerald Tremblay and his Union party. Not only are they besieged by scandal but one gets the very strong feeling that we are only on the edge of things, that surely there is much more to come, with implications that could rock the whole province.

And they have been horrible administrators as well. The city agreed to a 20 year lease for offices in buildings valued at 100 million dollars. And they are paying 300 million dollars to rent! And they sold Gare Viger for 9 million dollars when it had a market value of 60 million dollars. Who actually benefits from this? Not the taxpayers who will inevitably be asked, once again, to pay for all these apparent gaffes. Why vote for Temblay now when his resignation may be coming soon? That would surely be a mess.

Louise Harel and Vision have not demonstrated that they have paced any distance between themselves and Pierre Bourque, the founder of Vision. Harel was one of the masterminds of the “Mega City” mergers for Montreal which have been universally acclaimed as a failure. She currently likes to talk about realigning the boroughs and their structures because even she knows a bloated largely ineffective bureaucracy when she sees one, even if it is primarily because of her design. Voting for Louise Harel is like going to church, seeing the person who burned down your house is the minister, and saying “Amen” and simply carrying on as if nothing ever happened. Takes a lot of blind faith!

Louise O’Sullivan, founder of the poorly named, Équipe Louise O’ Sullivan Parti Montreal Ville-Marie, was formerly a member of Gerald Tremblay’s party. She says she is “pro car” and I recently saw her on the news saying something like, “I can’t see myself biking to work”. Heck, biking to work should be a prerequisite for anyone hoping to be mayor of Montreal! Don’t look for relevance here.

So that leaves us with Richard Bergeron and Projet Montreal. Media types have been doing an Obama- like digging into Bergeron’s past to dig up as much tabloidish details as possible. Sadly, some people are buying it.
I first met Richard Bergeron in May of 2008 at the Centre Gadbois in Saint Henri where various community groups had organized an information session regarding the Turcot Interchange plan and how it would affect their communities. I was very impressed by his ability to connect with these groups, to understand the issues that were coming forward. Since then I have seen him at most gatherings concerning Turcot and consider him to be one of the key people in the movement for a better Turcot Project (along with way too many wonderful people to list here).
Richard Bergeron was talking about building a great sustainable Montreal well before the other candidates began to throw like terms around their programs. He is a good, honest, and sincere man who truly wants to bring Montreal into the 21st century.

Projet Montreal has the strongest platform of the parties in the race that covers all aspects of living in Montreal. They have a strong commitment to an open democracy at City Hall which this city desperately needs. The candidates represent an astonishing diversity of talents, all determined to work hard at making Montreal a world class center of sustainability, innovation, and economic development.

It is a time for courage and a time for change. On November 1st vote for Richard Bergeron and Projet Montreal!

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6 responses to “It’s Time For Courage, Time For Change!

  1. Louise O’Sullivan is still the best candidate for Mayor of Montréal.
    Just because the media has provided such poor coverage of this election campaign and shown an obvious bias toward Mr. Tremblay, doesn’t take away from the fact that Louise O’Sullivan is experienced, competent; fluently bilingual and has a love of Montréal that is more infectious than H1N1.
    She definitely has a better understanding of the concerns of the English speaking community than any of the other candidates.
    She has candidates in the majority of the boroughs under her Montréal Ville Marie banner.
    And, I believe that she has a great deal more support than is obvious from her general media coverage.

  2. You should have introduced yourself as a candidate on Louise’s team, Fergus, old chap! Nice enthusiasm, but I ain’t buying it, at least not until I see Stephen Harper landsliding in Montreal- it’s a stretch.

  3. Well Heath, my good man, I am indeed a candidate and proud member of the O’Sullivan Team. What could have tipped you off? Could it be that I use my full name when posting comments (instead of hiding behind a handle type name); or that I supplied you with the web page link to my candidate page; or that I have my name on any number of election posters in the downtown Peter McGill district?

    At any rate it does not change the fact that in this election there are only six (6) candidates running for Mayor and that the main stream media has neglected their duty to provide the details required for the voters to make an informed decision. From the beginning of the campaign, the general public would think that there were only two candidates for Mayor until they were somehow forced to finally start mentioning Bergeron.

    In the case of Louise O’Sullivan, I am certainly confused and frustrated at her lack of coverage. I know her, I like her, and she is certainly the most viable of all the candidates.

    Why this lack of attention? – Could it be because she has an English / Irish sounding name? Because she is a woman? Or perhaps because she is both so experienced and competent that the media (particularly the English media) is concerned that she might split votes with Tremblay and allow Harel to win?

    Perhaps it is her policies….

    Like the one where she feels that having more than 100 elected representatives in Montreal City Hall (Toronto; New York etc. have closer to 50) is crazy, and that decreasing the number of these elected representatives at City Hall & all the related costs, including an office and assistant for each representative, could be better spent on providing services to the population?

    Or perhaps it might be that she is does not support a trolley type transport service when the infrastructure in our city is falling apart. Imagine a trolley on Notre Dame Street for example, with the street being dug up every day to make repairs – you cannot re-route a fixed trolley type service when you have to make repairs to the road.

    Maybe people don’t like her belief that we really need to make a stronger effort to attract some economic development to the city – imagine the audacity of her thinking that business and jobs could help our city!

    Maybe it is because she feels that you cannot simply ban cars from downtown and expect to keep the area vibrant – and has suggested some large and low cost parking stations in strategic areas of downtown to allow people to park and then walk on St. Catherine Street etc.

    I will always be convinced that by not mentioning her in the main stream media; by not inviting her to debates; by not giving her a chance to properly voice her opinions, the media has managed to portray her as some sort of minor non-viable candidate – and that is a real shame! And indeed a major loss of information for the voters in Montreal.

    However – with such a small turn-out for Municipal elections – Any of the candidates, including Louise O’Sullivan could win!

    It will be interesting to see….

  4. In Louise’s case I think the media is ignoring her because she does not have a full slate and seems interested in becoming mayor without a party to back up the platform. Bergeron’s numbers have just been steadily rising making him and Projet Montreal quite newsworthy.

    I think one of the biggest flaws in the O’Sullivan campaign is using the word “alternative”. I just don’t see how a party that calls itself “pro automobile” can also call itself “alternative”. Probably would have worked in the 60’s but today it just seems like an identity crisis.

    “Neath” has been the author of this blog for 4 years this December. That’s a lot of talking about Turcot Yards. But anyone who wants to know my real name, Ken McLaughlin, probably already knows it.

    Good luck!

  5. Neath thank you for your reply (I’m sorry, I realized that I wrote “Heath” by error, in my last post – my apologies).

    Of course, there is no requirement that a person that would like to be Mayor requires a full slate of candidates. Actually this whole municipal “party system” is rather unique to Montréal. In many major cities a candidate for Mayor is “stand-alone” without any official party designation. So the fact that Louise O’Sullivan does not have a full list of candidates should definitely not disqualify her.

    And, of course, the general media was downplaying her campaign long before she unveiled her candidates – and except for Radio Canada and RDI, the rest of the media (and none of the English media) bothered to attend the unveiling of her candidates or ever mention who they are etc. ( I have been mentioned, once or twice, but only when they were simply reporting on co-candidates)

    Being “pro automobile” has never been her policy.. However, she is a realist in that not every visitor etc. to downtown Montréal has access to public transport. For example, individuals from the West Island require a lot of time to make the trip downtown by public transport. And merchants (who pay a fair amount of taxes in Montréal) do sell various goods that would be difficult to transport back home by Metro or Bicycle. Her plan would involve building a number of city operated, low cost parking garages in strategic areas does make sense.

    It would indeed allow someone to use their car to get to the area, and then to walk on a street like St. Catherine, or use the Bixi system etc. to get around. (She was one of the first candidates to propose that St. Catherine St. should possibly become a pedestrian mall – perhaps testing it out first on the weekends to see how if it works out).

    But the bottom line is that the election is tomorrow, and her team and herself will work hard right to the legal deadline to get out as much support as possible at the polls tomorrow.

    As I said the results should be interesting.

    PS

    It is important that people take the time to be involved in major projects like Turcot Yards – you are to be congratulated on your 4 year effort to-date.

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