Percé’s resigning mayor cites a “deteriorating climate” at city hall to justify her departure

Percé’s resigning mayor cites a “deteriorating climate” at city hall to justify her departure
Percé’s resigning mayor cites a “deteriorating climate” at city hall to justify her departure

If the resigning mayor of Percé Cathy Poirier justifies her departure by a “deteriorated climate” at city hall and maintains that it is always the “same people” who “whine”, the bond of trust with the community would rather have been “broken” according to citizens.

• Read also – Municipal elected officials: the mayor of Percé announces her immediate resignation

“I could no longer find the reasons why I had gotten involved,” summarizes Cathy Poirier in an interview with The newspaper. Topping the list are recent decisions by the city council, taken in his absence, including ending the controversial tourist fee project. The city wanted to collect $1 tax on every transaction of $20 or more in certain businesses, including restaurants, souvenir shops and hotels.

This fee was deemed illegal by the Superior Court of Quebec last June, but the Municipality intended to appeal the decision. The case is now closed.

The outgoing mayor also describes a “deteriorating climate in recent months.” Cathy Poirier is against the “eight or twelve citizens” who “speak louder than the others.”

“Those who have been complaining in recent years are the same as 20 years ago!” she says. “It’s a small world, we know everyone.”

The community of Percé was divided on the question of the tourist fee.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

The resigning mayor even put forward the idea of ​​ending question periods during municipal council meetings because they were so toxic.

“That time is no longer relevant,” she says. “It’s becoming a place of revenge.” […] we fall into the staff. I heard horrible things there.”

Departure expected

But for the citizens of Percé, this departure of the mayor should have happened “earlier”.

Owner of the Au Bon Secours business, Jonathan Massé, claims that the bond of trust has been “broken” with the mayor.

“We went to the city council peacefully, but we were prevented from speaking,” he complains. “It’s certain that people became more aggressive at some point.”

Jonathan Massé is the owner of the business Au Bon Secours, in Percé, in the Gaspé.

Photo taken from Facebook

“When I have questions to ask, I ask them,” adds Jean-Claude Méthot, who has lived in Percé for over 60 years. He had been waiting for the mayor to resign for some time.

“She hasn’t been on the board for three months now and things have been going well for three months!” he says.

Jonathan Massé believes that the mayor persisted with her tourist fee project, even if it meant alienating public opinion.

“The city of Percé became a battlefield to become the first in Quebec with this. It had become a question of pride [pour elle]”, says the man who was once mayor of Grosse Roche, another Gaspé municipality.

A defeated candidate in the last mayoral elections, Olivier Lafontaine had led a petition last April already demanding the resignation of Poirier.

“I voted for her in 2017!” says the man who today denounces her stubbornness in “always spending more.”

Jonathan Massé recognizes, however, that there is a “problem in society” of respect for municipal elected officials. But he does not believe that the abolition of the question period, a period of “exclusive” contact with elected officials, is a solution.

“There is a huge amount of work to be done in terms of popular education on how municipal affairs work […] even to simply know how to live on social networks,” he concedes. And in the case of Percé, “social peace” will be found in the coming months, according to him.

Since the last municipal elections in Quebec in 2021, 741 elected officials have left their positions. Among them, we note the former mayor of Gatineau, France Bélisle, that of Chapais, Isabelle Lessard, or that of Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse, Stéphane Garneau.

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