Union Montreal councillor in RDP quits party
MONTREAL—The fall-out continued for Union Montreal on Monday as councillor Giovanni Rapana announced he is resigning from the city’s governing party and will sit as an independent on city council.
The defection came a day after Union suffered a defeat in a byelection in Riviere-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles, the same borough Rapana represents.
Speaking on Monday, Rapana said he had thought long and hard about his move, but finally, was left with no choice but to quit the party due to the many allegations of corruption brought against his peers.
He says he realized he had to leave Union Montreal after speaking to the people of RDP during the last election campaign. With campaigning for Sunday’s byelection, he said he heard from so many citizens about how upset they were with the party after hearing all of the allegations of corruption and collusion against city hall that have surfaced at the Charbonneau Commission.
Rapana said that he's an honest man and has integrity, and for that reason, he can no longer associate with Union Montreal. He will still represent the people of RDP as a borough councillor, but will sit as an independent for the rest of his term.
Rapana's colleague, Nino Colavecchio was running for Union Montreal in the area. When all of the votes were counted at the end of the day, Vision Montreal's Cindy Leclerc won the city councillor seat.
In a tight count, Union Montreal was only 99 votes behind Vision Montreal. The loss could not have come at a worse time for the party. With all of the damning testimony coming out of the Charbonneau commission, and with the recent resignations, Sunday’s byelection was really seen as a test for Union Montreal.
For its part, Vision Montreal said that it was thrilled about the win, and that the people of RDP clearly decided it was time for change.