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The management of the OCPM must be entrusted to an independent entity, believes Ensemble Montréal

Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir The municipal council must decide Tuesday on the placing under supervision of the organization and the dismissal of its president, Isabelle Beaulieu.

The municipal council will be called upon to ratify the dismissal of the president of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM), Isabelle Beaulieu, on Tuesday. The opposition intends to support the proposal, but believes that the management of the organization placed under supervision should be entrusted to an independent entity and not to the Director General of the City.

The City should not be both judge and party in this matter and the OCPM must be sheltered from political influence, believes Ensemble Montréal, which intends to table a modification to the Plante administration's proposal concerning the governance of the OCPM which should be debated on Tuesday.

This proposal provides in particular for the termination of the mandate of the current president of the OCPM, Isabelle Beaulieu, for “serious misconduct”, as well as the freezing of the expenses of the organization with the exception of salaries, rent and essential expenses already approved by the treasurer.

The Plante administration's proposal also suggests that the city's general management be mandated to launch a search process for candidates for the presidency of the organization. In addition, it gives the Director General of the City, Serge Lamontagne, the mandate to identify and allocate the resources required to supervise the implementation of management measures during the investigation which must be carried out by the General Auditor during over the next few weeks.

The opposition is rather of the opinion that the management of the organization must be entrusted to an independent firm and not to the City until a person is appointed to the presidency of the OCPM. “Giving this mandate to the Director General of the City of Montreal goes against the independence of the OCPM. It is certain and certain that we cannot support this notion in the absence of a president duly appointed by the municipal council,” indicates the mayor of the borough of Saint-Laurent, Alan DeSousa.

According to him, it is not in the interest of the Plante administration to maintain doubt in the minds of the population regarding the independence of the OCPM.

Ensemble Montréal also hopes that the mandate given to the General Auditor will allow her to investigate the expenditures made by the OCPM not only under the mandate of Isabelle Beaulieu, but also under that of Dominique Ollivier, who led the organization from 2014 to 2021.

On Friday, Isabelle Beaulieu and Dominique Ollivier testified before the Committee on Finance and Administration regarding their respective mandates. Ms. Beaulieu notably affirmed that when she arrived in office, in February 2022, she had noted cases of time theft occurring during Ms. Ollivier's mandate. It rejected these allegations.

Remember that the OCPM has been in the spotlight for more than two weeks due to questionable expenses made by its managers starting in 2014. A Quebecor media investigation has notably revealed that public funds had been used to pay for restaurant meals, trips and expensive equipment.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116