Louise Harel quits Montreal budget talks
Published Sunday, November 4, 2012 1:16PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, November 4, 2012 7:08PM EST
MONTREAL - Louise Harel, leader of Montreal’s official opposition, has quit the city’s Finance and Administration Committee in protest.
Harel expressed objection to the direction taken in the writing of the Tremblay administration’s revised budget, an effort headed by Executive Committee member Michael Applebaum.
Harel’s Vision Montreal is vacating its two committee seats as of Monday.
“We refuse to have a walk on part in this silly play,” Harel told CTV Montreal Sunday.
Vision Montreal wants the new budget to contain measures to recover funds wasted to corruption, as exposed in the recent Charbonneau Commission.
“You can’t make a second budget without undertaking a clean-up,” she said.
Another Vision Party member added to Harel's criticism.
“We don't accept to study a budget that is already shelved and we don't know what's going to happen next. Are they going to change it again and are they going to take the money?” asked Vision Montreal City Councillor Veronique Fournier.
She said that Applebaum announced a new budget “out of the blue,” and denounced him for “improvisation.”
Westmount Mayor Peter Trent and Montreal East Mayor Robert Coutu had already quit the committee last Thursday.
The budget is being revised after receiving negative public feedback. It included tax increases well above the rate of inflation.
Mayor Tremblay is expected to be back at work Monday after taking four days off.
Some expect Tremblay to make an announcement concerning his future in politics following unflattering revelations made in Charbonneau Commission testimony.
Harel said that Mayor Tremblay has no choice but to resign in light of the recent disclosures.
-With a file from The Canadian Press
Vision Montréal leader Louise Harel speaks to reporters in Montreal, Monday, October 1, 2012, where she answered questions in relation to testimony made by Lino Zambito at the Charbonneau commission an inquiry looking into corruption and collusion in Quebec's construction industry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.