Montreal mayor anticipated to advocate OCPM president’s dismissal

Montreal mayor anticipated to advocate OCPM president’s dismissal

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante will suggest that the municipal council dismiss the president of the city’s general public consultation company and freeze its funds, Radio-Canada has learned.

This arrives soon after Isabelle Beaulieu, president of the Office de session publique de Montréal (OCPM), was place in the hot seat Friday, grilled by the city’s finance committee for the duration of a listening to. She admitted she has built errors. 

“I realize them. I settle for them,” stated Beaulieu. “Our techniques should be modified and ruled by apparent and published guidelines. I commit to doing so.”

The finance committee hearing was termed in reaction to allegations of OCPM spending involving 2014 and 2021 — investing that incorporated intercontinental vacation, high-quality eating, electronics and household furniture, all on the public’s dime.

On Monday, the lady who headed the company for people many years, Dominique Ollivier, resigned as chair of Montreal’s govt committee. The councillor for Vieux-Rosemont said she experienced confronted a continual backlash about her preceding position immediately after an investigation by the newspaper the Journal de Montréal disclosed the OCPM’s controversial spending underneath her management.

The OCPM is tasked with internet hosting community consultations in Montreal on massive choices these kinds of as the closure of Camillien Houde Way around Mount Royal. 

The company ongoing to devote 1000’s after Ollivier still left her post. Beaulieu, who assumed the presidency in February of 2022, reported she relied on her predecessors’ ways of shelling out on places to eat and journey for advice, while she designed an hard work to lessen expenses.

‘Everything was managed arbitrarily’: Beaulieu

Amid the investing revealed, $280,000 was spent in 2022 on renting office space for about a dozen workforce. 

“Certainly, we had operate meetings in dining places, like my predecessors. We are placing an finish to this practice,” she reported.

It has been revealed that two employees with auxiliary standing received their six for every cent trip quantity just about every shell out cycle, even nevertheless they took 3 to 4 weeks of paid out vacation for every calendar year. She claimed this is yet another observe she place an conclude to.

“There was no code of ethics, everything was managed arbitrarily,” Beaulieu claimed. “I clarified business attendance principles, family vacation coverage, work policies. The venture is broad, but it is in progress.”

Beaulieu stated she is targeted on reviewing human sources, office lifestyle and the code of ethics. She advised the finance committee there ought to have been extra oversight, and she acknowledged the need for modify and transparency.

Ollivier also answered the committee’s thoughts on Friday.

“Throughout my 7 several years as president, the charges connected to this form of expense represented considerably less than $20,000. I fully grasp the citizens who come across the amount of money to be huge, but it is a global figure which handles a period of time of 7 a long time,” she explained.

Ollivier reported Montreal’s charter recognizes the correct for commissioners to be reimbursed for their bills, including meal expenditures. On the other hand, the council resolution that was unanimously adopted in 2014 presented that the presidency was entitled to $4,000 in illustration expenses, she said.

In gentle of what has been reported in the latest weeks, it is distinct that we require to critique command mechanisms to make sure that they function correctly and avert excesses and abuses, as properly as make sure community have confidence in in our institutions,” Ollivier mentioned.

Plante calls for president’s dismissal 

Right after the hearing, Plante told reporters that there was a crystal clear breach of have faith in on behalf of Beaulieu, and she will advise that the city council dismiss her has president. 

“We are likely to do a comprehensive cleaning,” mentioned Plante, describing Friday’s testimonies as “incredibly stunning.”

The finance committee will table a report at the municipal council next Monday, when there will be a vote of assurance on Beaulieu.

Montreal’s Official Opposition occasion released a assertion Friday, calling on Ollivier to be taken off from the Projet Montréal caucus, and stated Beaulieu must be eradicated from her write-up.

 “It would make no sense that Valérie Plante has not by now performed so, by contacting an amazing assembly of the municipal council,” stated Aref Salem, head of Ensemble Montréal, in a statement.

Salem explained he is outraged Ollivier “failed to have the decency” to inform the govt committee about this excessive paying out.

“Theft of time, arbitrary administration, laxity: the revelations surrounding Dominique Ollivier, who did very little to proper this mismanagement despite warnings from the Auditor Standard in 2017, are scandalous,” he said.

On Monday, as Municipal Affairs Minister Andrée Laforest said Ollivier was right to resign, she also pressured Beaulieu to phase down, expressing it was very clear she must no more time guide the OCPM given the “breakdown of have confidence in” with the community. 

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