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Plante to seek dismissal of public consultation office president amid spending scandal


Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante says she's taking steps to clean up the city's public consultation office, starting with getting rid of its president, Isabelle Beaulieu.

"We're going to clean house," Plante said Friday following a special finance commission meeting about the recent spending scandal.

The mayor addressed the controversy alongside the former head of the office, Dominique Ollivier, who stepped down on Monday as president of the city's executive committee over a recent Journal de Montreal investigation into extravagant spending while she was the president of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM).

"I want to make it clear from the outset: the 77 outings to Alexandre's in one year, the $900 headphones, the $5,500 field hockey tickets did not take place under my presidency and are the work of the administration. I've always had too much respect for public funds to authorize this kind of spending," Ollivier said.

The newspaper reported that while she was head of the OCPM, Ollivier expensed several international trips, pricey meals, including a $347 oyster dinner in Paris and luxury office furniture. Ollivier admitted she did expense $20,000 worth of meals, but that was over a seven-year period.

"I also have on my corporate credit card, a bill for St-Hubert barbecue, that was delivered, that is $78. I’m not saying that was legitimate, what I'm saying is that if you look at the entire corpus it's different occasions of different things," she said.

Ollivier is angry she’s being accused of wasting public funds, and angry her management is being questioned.

But her successor did just that — Beaulieu said when she took over for Ollivier in early 2022, she found an organization that she said was poorly managed with little oversight, including some employees being paid 6 per cent vacation pay while getting paid vacation, and others logging full-time hours when many didn’t actually work full-time.

"It means that Montrealers are being fleeced out of their hard-earned money by people who are not just negligent but could even be unscrupulous," said Ensemble Montreal's Alan DeSousa Friday. 

The mayor said it can't go on like this and will take steps next week to have Beaulieu fired and the office placed under trusteeship.

"There will be no more funding, no more money going to OCPM without us — the executive committee — looking into it," Plante said.

The opposition at City Hall says that doesn't go far enough and wants Ollivier kicked out of Projet Montreal's caucus. Top Stories

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