Recalling 'Gazebogate,' Projet Montreal calls for more oversight on city spending
Published Wednesday, September 20, 2017 2:49PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:41PM EDT
Projet Montreal is calling for more oversight into how the city of Montreal spends its money.
Ville Marie candidate Jabiz Sharifian and mayoral candidate Valerie Plante pointed to the Mordecai Richler gazebo as one example of flagrant spending.
First announced in 2011 by then-mayor Gerald Tremblay, the initial budget of roughly $350,000 grew and grew as the project was delayed for multiple reasons, including the discovery of lead paint on the heritage structure.
Three years late, the project ended up costing $724,000.
Sharifian said this type of cost overrun happens often with city projects, but it can stop it.
"I'm an engineer and project manager by trade and I can assure you, in the private sector if there were cost overruns like this, the board would be asking lots of questions and indeed they would have to answer to all of the shareholders. We would require that for sure, and as Montrealers we would expect the same amount and level of accountability from our municipality," said Sharifian.
Projet Montreal said that if elected, the party would bring in an accountability commission with engineers and elected officials to do just that.
“We want to make sure there's a process during the construction or during the project, which is not happening. We have a before, we have an after - we don't have a middle part,” said Plante
Mayor Denis Coderre said the city of Montreal already has agencies that do just that.
He said despite problems like the gazebo, overall the city of Montreal is doing better at finishing projects on time and on budget.
"That's not for nothing we have a new credit quote from A+ to AA-. It's because we know how to manage and we're cutting expenses. We do what we need to do. We're a new integrated management and integrity is back," said Coderre.
Concordia University political analyst Harold Chorney said he expects the opposition to bring up issues such as the gazebo and the e-race as often as possible,
“Those kinds of ‘Gazebogate’ events are clearly damaging to an incumbent administration,” he said.
Meanwhile Team Denis Coderre introduced its candidate to become mayor of the Plateau Mont-Royal borough.
Zach Macklovitch, 27, stood out on Wednesday as the only t-shirt-wearing politician at his introductory event.
The entrepreneur said he wants to revitalize St. Denis St. and make life in the borough better for families.