My profile of longtime LaSalle borough mayor Manon Barbe appears on page 1 of yesterday’s (March 14) City Edition of the Suburban.
Barbe is a great example of a successful political leader who has broken many glass ceilings over the years through dedicated service, gumption and persistence. I don’t agree with all the positions she holds on issues, but her ability to make decisions and stand by them is admirable. She also works hard. I’ve seen her personally wait tables to serve veterans their lunch at LaSalle Legion events.
I have more stories than usual in last week’s Suburban. Most of my stories are in the West Island and Laval issues. I’m particularly impressed with the first one about the event Wednesday night.
Inspirational women raise money for women shelter (WI,Apr26,pA6)
Lachine transfers human resources to Mtl (WI,Apr26,pA9)
On Rock faces incredible use surge (WI,Apr26,pA14)
Jean-Pierre Menard to speak to CSSS Laval (L,Apr26,pA3)
Demers to pitch Laval (L,Apr27,pA3)
Emergency crews on standby for flood (Laval, April 19, A1),
Children in Pierrefonds celebrate Montreal (WI, April 19, A6)
UPS to expand Lachine plant (WI, April 19, A11)
Backyard shed thieves caught red handed (Laval, April 19, A1)
Laval to benefit from Plattsburgh Montreal (Laval, April 19, A3)
My colleagues and I wrote several fun stories reminiscing about the New Year.
Mine focusses on food, shelter and waste, and of course, mentions Verdun and LaSalle.
Two stories appeared in the city edition and one story appeared in the West Island edition of The Suburban today.
The story on page A7 of The Suburban outlines four projects that will be presented to citizens by the borough of LaSalle at a public consultation on Wednesday, June 22 at 7 p.m. The consultation will take place in borough hall, 55 Dupras at 7 p.m.
The story on page A12 of the City edition of the Suburban details Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board’s third revision for the Crawford Park School in Verdun. The plan will be considered by borough councillors during their July meeting.
Lachine’s plans for their 350th birthday next year are detailed on page A8 of the West Island edition of The Suburban.
Finally a credible explanation about Poeti’s demotion.
Everyone in LaSalle and Verdun have been wondering why Couillard replaced Robert Poeti with Jacques Daoust in the last cabinet shuffle.
“Making room for younger, more diverse people” as a reason defies all logic.
At first, we thought his was his hard stance on Uber, but the government has since taken essentially the same position.
The Journal de Montreal had a few other ideas about what went wrong, but they seemed like small issues for someone who works as hard as Poeti does. The man seemingly doesn’t sleep. Even as a cabinet minister, he frequently attended important local events. Residents of his constituency see him everywhere, and he frequently takes up their causes.
Now we discover from L’Actualité that Poeti was investigating the department of Transport and attempting to improve its governance.
The problems, according to journalist Louis Lacroix, included the impossible situation in which junior employees are supposed to fairly evaluate their bosses without being influenced to modify their reports.
Mais l’ancien secrétaire général du gouvernement, André Dicaire, qui siège au comité d’audit du ministère des Transports, avait eu l’idée de changer la structure en nommant un PCP par région relevant directement du directeur territorial.
«Donc, l’employé se trouve à évaluer son patron sur les conformités de projets ou de contrats qui ont été donnés. J’y voyais un problème», dit M. Poëti.
Lacroix’s story also outlines how former employees obtained their salaries via no-bid contracts.
Par exemple, un ex-employé à la retraite et résidant désormais à Saguenay a été réembauché en 2014 pour travailler au projet de réfection de l’échangeur Turcot… à Montréal. Le contrat consistait à offrir des «services de conseiller expert en gestion de projet pour un mode de réalisation non traditionnel».
Mais plutôt que de lui accorder un salaire de 50 000 dollars, le ministère lui a donné deux contrats de gré à gré de 24 500 dollars, tout juste sous le seuil des appels d’offres, au nom de son entreprise.
Lacroix’s information about UPAC refusing to investigate Transport Ministry employees is well worth reading.
La Presse‘s story included Poeti’s letter to Jacques Daoust asking for explanations about cost overruns, employee behaviour and no-bid contracts awarded by the Transport Ministry that still haven’t been answered.
Despite stories by the Canadian Press as reported in the CBC, CJAD, Citynews and Le Journal, Poeti may not have been demoted for asking too many questions. That’s what Jonathan Trudeau thinks. There may indeed be another reason that the ex-police officer and popular local politician had to be removed from discussions taking place under cabinet secrecy.
Still, it won’t hurt to examine the operations of the Transport Ministry while we keep wondering what’s really going on.