Controversy over Montreal executive committee president’s speeding ticket continues

IN this file photo, Montreal Executive Committee President Benoit Dorais and Mayor Valérie Plante releasing capital works budget on Wednesday morning. Jan. 31, 2018. Tim Sargeant/Global News

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is standing by her right-hand man amid the controversy surrounding Benoit Dorais’ driving record.

A report in the Journal de Montréal on Friday revealed that Dorais, Montreal’s executive committee president and Sud-Ouest borough mayor, had been clocked going 171 km/h in a 100 km/h zone.

The incident happened on April 21 on Highway 35 in the Montérégie.

The article also reports that Dorais was found guilty for speeding eight times between 1995 and 2017.

He was fined $1,378, for the latest offence, lost 14 demerit points and had his licence suspended for seven days.

In a statement issued Friday, Dorais confirmed the incident took place and said he will deal with the consequences like a regular citizen. “Obviously, this behaviour was a mistake,” he said.

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The statement, however, did little to appease the official opposition.

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“It’s a serious lack of judgement on his part,” said Ensemble Montréal interim leader Lionel Perez at a news conference on Monday.

“We all know that as the number two individual in Montreal, you need a certain moral authority and with this incident, he has lost it. How can he speak about public safety issues?”

Perez not only took aim at Dorais’ credibility, but was critical of Mayor Plante for refusing to comment on the issue.

“She owes it to Montrealers to be able to say whether she still has the trust in Mr. Dorais to be her president of the executive committee,” he said.

Late Monday afternoon, the mayor’s office took a stand.

“Mr. Dorais regrets his behaviour, and like any citizen, he will face the consequences,” said executive committee spokesperson Laurence Houde-Roy in a written statement to Global News.

“However, this does not compromise the quality of his work. As an elected official, Benoit Dorais is hardworking, rigorous and available for the administration and his credibility has not been called into question.”

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