08/23/2012 08:21 EDT | Updated 10/23/2012 05:12 EDT

Plateau mayor criticized for poor council attendance

If he fails to show up to the next city council meeting, the administration of Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay is threatening to call a by-election to replace the mayor of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough, Luc Ferrandez.

Ferrandez, a member of the opposition Projet Montréal Party, has not been present for council meetings in three months.

The city councilor for the Snowdon district, Marvin Rotrand, who is the leader of the majority at Montreal City Hall said it is the people in Ferrandez’s borough who are the most affected by his absence.

"You're elected to serve your constituents," said Rotrand. "City council is where the decisions are made that affect the quality of life and the taxes of the constituents. There's no excuse not to show up."

Rotrand said Ferrandez's attendance record is the worst he’s seen in 30 years. He added that if the borough mayor misses the upcoming meeting on Aug. 30, his seat would be up for grabs.

"The law is pretty clear. If a councillor misses three consecutive meetings in more than 90 days, [the person] can, at the following meeting, have his seat declared to be vacant."

Ferrandez is currently on vacation and was not available to comment on Rotrand's comments.

The leader of the Projet Montréal Party, Richard Bergeron, came to Ferrandez’s defense. Bergeron said Ferrandez works hard for his borough, and does more than some other councillors that he accuses of doing little more than attending meetings.

"Their only quality is that they are there. Physically, they are there. That's what I call a desk potato," said Bergeron.

Bergeron added that he would speak with Ferrandez about his attendance and that the borough mayor would be present for the next meeting.

Rotrand later issued a statement demanding Bergeron apologize for the “potato” comment, which he said show “an unprecedented lack of respect.”

A spokesperson for Projet Montréal said Bergeron stands by his comments.

This case is only the latest salvo in the ongoing war of words between the Tremblay’s administration and Projet Montréal, which has a majority in the Plateau borough.