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!