Critics slam Marcel Cote for blaming corruption on suburbs
Mayoral candidate Marcel Cote - who is supported by such diverse political veterans as Louise Harel, Rusell Copeman and Marvin Rotrand – has made a few enemies by blaming the suburbs for Montreal's woes.
Cote, 70, an economist who born in Abitibi and is running for political office for the first time, was quoted in a published interview blaming Montreal’s woes on its decision to adopt management techniques employed by smaller municipalities.
Cote said that last decade’s one-island-one-city merger-demerger misadventure that led to 10 new municipalities to join the city, has brought in administrative techniques that led to corruption.
His rivals are blasting back
Longtime St. Laurent Mayor Alan DeSousa, said that the views reflect a superficial understanding of the way the city works.
“He is besmirching and insulting the people who have contributed to the community, people like myself who are still there, who feel they have worked hard for the city of Montreal,” said DeSousa, who is running for rival Denis Coderre.
One pundit said that Cote is merely shadowing the views of former PQ MNA Louise Harel, who stepped aside to allow him to represent her Vision Party as mayor.
“His lips are moving but it sounds very much like Louise Harel in the background,” said former Cote St. Luc mayor and Montreal executive committee member Robert Libman.
Libman instead blamed the corruption issues on Montreal's hard-to-control critical mass.
“When you have a have a city or a bureaucracy that's this robust, this huge, with 29,000 employees, it was too easy for some lower level civil servants to take money or brown envelopes,” said Libman.
Projet Montreal leader Richard Bergeron also blasted Cote for his comments.
“It is not very respectful of for these 10 new boroughs of Montreal that decided in 2013 to stay with Montreal,” he said.