Today marks the first full day on the job for Montreal’s new interim mayor, Laurent Blanchard — and he’s promising to bring stability to Montreal during his four-month tenure.
He says the city could use a little bit of serenity, and promises to collaborate with his colleagues at Montreal City Hall to achieve it.
But St-Laurent borough mayor Alan DeSousa is doubtful he'll succeed.
“The take-over of the executive committee and the administration by Louise Harel has happened,” DeSousa said.
“To try and pretend that stability and continuity is there is probably trying to say that the sky is green and the grass is yellow.”
DeSousa said that currently, about 20 per cent of the files City Hall looks at are done behind closed doors.
He said it’s why he tabled a motion to make all decisions by city council transparent and open to the public.
Blanchard vowed to restore Montrealers’ confidence in the administration of their city, but out on the street, people are hesitant.
“I heard about Michael Applebaum and the mayor of Laval, so I hope it’s better,” said Benny James.
Walking by City Hall in Old Montreal, Suzanne Jacques admitted she’d never heard of Laurent Blanchard, but hopes he’ll bring the stability he promises.
“I hope that’s what he’s going to do. We’ll give him his chance and hope for the best,” she said.
Ilona Dougherty of Apathy Is Boring, a Montreal group aimed at promoting citizen involvement in democracy, said Blanchard will have to do some leg work to gain Montrealers’ trust.
“Go out and talk to people. When we lose trust in our elected officials, we need to see them. We need to know that they’re there. We need to be able to talk to them about our concerns,” she said.
Montrealers go to the polls Nov. 3 to elect a new mayor.
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