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Travel on the arm

Travel on the arm

Close your eyes and use a little imagination.

(Make sure you don’t read this column while walking on the sidewalk, of course.)

Imagine Valerie Blunt buying a Hummer.

Imagine Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois explaining why he saw fit to open a bank account in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven.

Imagine Stephen Guilbault explaining why he allowed a billion barrels of oil to be drilled off the coast of Newfoundland… oops, no need to stretch the imagination here, the former Greenpeace activist and current federal Minister for the Environment did just that.

Why are my fictional examples of MI Will Blunt and Mr. Nadeau shock Dubois?

Not because they are illegal scenarios, no.

Valerie Plante can buy a Hummer, it’s legal.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois may attempt to do tax optimization, which is (often) legal.

But that would be unethical, given what these two public figures represent.

MI Blunt is the mayor of the green transition: drive a Hummer, and you will lose all credibility. That would be an absolutely laughable contradiction.

Mr. Nadeau-Dubois is campaigning for tax justice, proposing to impose more taxes on the rich: by sending his money to sunbathe in a tax haven, the Solidarity MP is making a fool of himself.

Which brings me to mI Dominique Olivier, President of the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal.

MI Olivier is Mayor Valery Plante’s second-in-command. In fact, she is the finance minister of the city of Montreal.

Therefore, Dominique Olivier is the custodian of public funds in Montreal. She was the one who had to justify the bizarre decision to pay back pay ($6 million) to city executives. A month ago, she explained the weight-loss treatment (worth $100 million) imposed by the city of Montreal.

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This slimming treatment was necessary due to high expenses and low income: “Faced with this observation, M. saidI Olivier, we had to make the necessary choices to maintain our financial resilience and continue to protect the wallets of Montrealers. »

After reading the survey1 the Montreal Journal At the Office of Public Counsel of Montreal (OCPM), we can legitimately say that MI Olivier did not care much about Montrealers when she was president of this organization that consults citizens on major issues.

The investigation by Annabelle Blais and Dominique Cambron-Goulet outlined: The OCPM – an organization independent of the city but 100% funded by the city – also served as a kind of free travel club for its members, whenI Olivier was its president.

Spain, Mexico, Brazil, England, Tunisia, Morocco, Australia, Switzerland, Ivory Coast and even Mozambique: there was not in the world a symposium, conference, symposium, congress or congress. Podcast Not even a cocktail dinner about “participatory democracy” which was not worth the face-to-face presence of a senior member of the OCPM, whenI Olivier was its president.

Read the investigation Jadeem Shocking. First, the orgy of travel using public funds raises eyebrows. Then there’s the lack of accountability: reimbursement for expenses without supporting documentation has become common.

For example, members of the Communist Party have made taxpayer-paid stops in London or Rio under pretexts that I will politely describe as… “disingenuous”.

After his time at the Public Counsel Office in Montreal, MI Olivier landed at Projet Montreal: she was elected city councilor of Vieux-Rosemont, in 2021. Mayor Valérie Plante appointed her “Minister of Finance” by appointing the junior president of the Executive Committee.

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If mI Olivier was put in charge of economic development, sports, recreation or large parks, and this saga of gluttons stashing Air Miles on taxpayers’ arm while at OCPM will only constitute an embarrassing political black eye that is set to be forgotten within a week. .

But Dominique Olivier is the custodian of Montreal taxpayers’ wallets. She cannot be caught, if only on the contrary, in the story of impudent trips on the arm of the taxpayer whose wallet she now protects. It’s contradictory.

She was caught up in a very questionable travel scandal (Good morning Mozambique!) Using public funds, it’s as if Valérie Plante bought a Hummer, as if GND had a bank account in the Cayman Islands…

Not illegal, no. But damn immoral!

And there is what timingIn a week, Dominique Olivier will present his budget.


What credibility will you have when you justify this or that decision? Tax increases and service cuts? Freeze spending?

no one.

A word, in conclusion, about President MI Oliver. Mayor Valérie Plante asked the Auditor General to investigate OCPM’s practices. good…

But I’m going to move the history tape back a few years. I use my imagination. Like me, close your eyes…

Valerie Plante is Leader of the Opposition. And we learn in Jadeem That Denis Coderre’s second-in-command is involved, in reverse, in questionable spending of public funds…

I imagine how many mI Blunt, the opposition leader, would have been furious.

I imagine the buffet of unpleasant qualifying adjectives she would have hurled at Denis Coderre.

I imagine the outrageous bacon dance she would have invited reporters to on the steps of Montreal City Hall…

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MI Blunt, the leader of the opposition, would have called for his resignation, that’s for sure. She would not have requested an investigation by VG.

Let’s open our eyes, the effort of imagination is over, and go back to November 2023: I just want to point out that Valérie Plante, the mayor, does not have to demand Ms.’s resignation.I Oliver.

She could simply fire her for driving a blatantly ethical Hummer.

MI And Plante probably won’t fire her, in the name of that old, unwritten political rule: your team’s blunders are always less acceptable than the opposing team’s.