Merchant “takes 100% responsibility”

Merchant “takes 100% responsibility”
Merchant “takes 100% responsibility”

“At $18 per head of pipe, blame me if necessary. I defend this expense ad nauseam, as much as you want, as many times as necessary, from morning to evening,” he said on Monday, on the sidelines of a press conference held alongside the president of the RTC.

Last week, a bill paid by the transportation company for a $33,200 buffet at a two-day recognition event last fall made headlines. An expense criticized by the opposition, the day after the announcement of an average increase of 3% in prices for RTC users.

While like its counterparts, the network is forced to open its books to submit to a performance audit ordered by the Quebec government, Mayor Bruno Marchand deemed a contract signed for the purchase of cups “difficult to justify.” of the RTC, last February.

On the contrary, this time, he is defending the bill granted for a meal paid to all 1,800 workers of the transport company.

“I assume 100% that at $18 per employee to whom we want to take the time to say thank you, it’s not fat and it’s not bacon,” he pleaded, continuing the metaphor used by the leader of the official opposition at city hall.

“If we expect public services to be unable to contribute anything […] It won’t be when I’m mayor, because I’ll always take on that.”

— Bruno Marchand, mayor of Quebec

Events like these are also held for Quebec City employees. And they will continue to exist, he promised.

“I want to take the time to say thank you to our employees, I will do it whenever necessary and I will find every way to make it as inexpensive as possible. But yes, there will be a cost, sometimes minimal and I assume that cost,” committed the mayor of Quebec.

“Let him stop searching!”

For this year, for the sake of “sound management”, the RTC has however already communicated its decision not to renew the activity nicknamed “the big return to school”, held annually in September.

“It’s a decision we made at the beginning of the year. It’s a heartbreaking decision, because recognition activities are essential.”

— Maude Mercier Larouche, president of the RTC

The Marchand administration accuses its political adversaries of “wandering” on this issue, looking for “a little attention span.”

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The president of the RTC, Maude Mercier Larouche (Yan Doublet/The Sun)

“I have one thing to say to the leader of the opposition: that he stop digging into SEAO [Système électronique d’appel d’offres] to try to make people look bad and start asking real questions and bringing real solutions to the debate on what we are doing with the future of financing public transport,” Ms. Mercier Larouche invited instead.

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