Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante’s right-hand man Benoit Dorais was caught driving 71 km over the speed limit back in April, Le Journal de Montréal uncovered on Friday.
Dorais, who is the mayor of Montreal’s Sud-Ouest borough and the president of the city’s executive committee, was pulled over by the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) police just before midnight on April 21, confirmed a city spokesperson on Friday. Dorais was driving on Highway 35 in Quebec’s Montérégie region in a Buick Encore SUV.
He was fined $1,378, lost 14 demerit points and had his licence suspended for seven days.
In a statement, Dorais confirmed the incident took place and said he would deal with the consequences like a regular citizen. “Obviously, this behaviour was a mistake,” he said.
“It demonstrates a serious lack of judgment,” said Lionel Perez, leader of the opposition party Ensemble Montréal. Perez said that Dorais’s moral authority is “gravely eroded.”
“It’s inexplicable for any member of our society,” Perez said. “Even more so for the president of the executive committee and an elected official — the number two in Montreal,” Perez told Global News, referencing Dorais’s position as Plante’s right hand and president of the city’s executive committee.
Dorais’s pro-environment political party Projet Montréal has worked on several measures in the city including increasing speeding fines, reducing speed limits, reducing the number of cars on the road and making the city safer for cyclists.
Perez said it would now be difficult for Dorais to speak on issues regarding public safety and security. “[The incident] undermines his moral authority on these issues.”
The Ensemble Montréal city councillor said he wonders if Plante still has confidence in Dorais.
“His explanation that it was simply an error seems to underscore the seriousness of this type of action,” he told Global News. Perez believes Dorais and Plante owe Montrealers a more thorough explanation regarding the event.
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