Longtime city councillor and STM vice-chair Marvin Rotrand has been ousted from his position at the transit authority.
“This comes as a surprise to me and it is an indication of what the population can expect if Denis Coderre wins a majority in the next election,” Rotrand said outside of council chambers on Monday.
Rotrand has been a city councillor since 1982 and has served as the vice-chair of the STM since 2002.
He found out he was being fired after he heard the rumour and then texted the STM’s director-general for confirmation.
“I haven’t gotten a call – from either Philippe Schnobb or Denis Coderre – but I know something is up, my director-general confirmed it,” Rotrand said.
The decision comes a few months after Rotrand decided to lead the Coalition Montreal opposition party in the municipal elections this coming November, instead of running under the banner of the current mayor, Denis Coderre.
“I talked to Coderre about it in December, and said that I still supported his transit plan,” Rotrand said. “He didn’t say anything so I thought everything was fine.
“I guess 110 per cent loyalty is not enough.”
Opposition councillors from Projet Montreal say they aren’t surprised.
“It is crass partisan politics,” said Projet Montreal councillor Alex Norris. “We have an authoritarian mayor who wants to punish anyone who doesn’t fall behind him.”
Southwest borough mayor Benoit Dorais is facing the same situation.
Dorais, a former Coalition Montreal member, decided to run for Projet Montreal, even though Mayor Coderre asked him to run for his party.
Now, Dorais will lose his position as chair of the agglomeration council.
A spokesperson for the mayor said that was because the Agglomeration Council already has one opposition member and the agreement between the parties only stipulated that a single opposition member would have a place.
The council consists of the mayor of Montreal, 14 mayors of demerged cities, an additional seat for Dollar-des-Ormeaux and 15 borough mayors.
Mayor Coderre didn’t give a reason for Rotrand’s sudden firing.
Rotrand says he won’t fight the decision.
“I believe in the STM,” Rotrand said. “It is the best place I’ve ever worked and I offer my services and support to whoever is my replacement.”
Municipal elections will be held on Nov. 5, 2017.