NEWS

Richard Bergeron leaves Projet Montréal to join Denis Coderre

11/18/2014 05:46 EST | Updated 01/18/2015 05:59 EST
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has recruited former rival, Richard Bergeron, to sit alongside him on the executive committee.

“The time has come to stand for Montreal,” Coderre said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon at Montreal's city hall.

Bergeron founded ProjetMontréal, a municipal political party devoted to sustainable development, in November 2004.

He led the party for the last 10 years and stepped down two weeks ago, saying it was time to hand the reins over to someone new.

Today, Bergeron said he is excited to sit on the city’s executive committee.

“It’s a new step in my life. There’s nothing bittersweet anywhere. I’m proud to join the administration, and I’m proud of everything I did as the leader and as the builder of Projet Montréal.

Bergeron said the main reason he decided to sit on Denis Coderre's executive committee is because they see eye-to-eye on the idea of tramways being an integral part of a future Montreal.

Bergeron would want to see a tramway downtown — a project which Coderre would put him in charge of.

“My only wish is to help develop Montreal,” Bergeron said.

Projet Montréal members not pleased

Members of Bergeron's former party are not happy about the move.

Projet Montréal’s interim leader Luc Ferrandez said members felt surprised, angry and shocked when they heard the news.

Ferrandez added that Bergeron is so preoccupied with the idea of tramways that "he’s let his guard down" on other issues.

“Every time Coderre has brought a member of the opposition of another party in his team, he has controlled this person to the very, very details. He demands that all the votes are to be taken in one direction — the direction that he chooses. Richard Bergeron will have a challenge there.”

Bergeron won't be an official voting member of the executive committee until provincial legislation permitting that is passed.

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