Benoit Dorais apologizes for ‘reprehensible’ speeding ticket

Montreal executive committee president Benoit Dorais and Mayor Valérie Plante releasing the capital works budget on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. Tim Sargeant/Global News

Benoit Dorais, president of Montreal’s executive committee and Sud-Ouest borough mayor, has issued a public apology after he was caught speeding this spring.

The right-hand man of Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante addressed the issue on social media late Thursday, saying he was taking responsibility for his actions.

“I acknowledge that I have made an error in judgment and I assure you that this is not the type of behaviour I wish to promote to my fellow citizens,” he wrote. “So, first and foremost, I want to apologize to you.”

READ MORE: Controversy over Montreal executive committee president’s speeding ticket continues

Last week, a report in the Journal de Montréal revealed that Dorais was pulled over on Highway 35 in the Montérégie for going 171 kilometres per hour. The article also reports Dorais was found guilty of speeding eight times between 1995 and 2017.

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

In his Facebook post, Dorais also apologized to Plante and his colleagues. As the controversy swirled, he said Plante stood by him and reiterated her confidence in him. Dorais said he intends to keep on working.

“Once again, I apologize for this reprehensible act, and rest assured that I understand its gravity,” he said.

READ MORE: Valérie Plante’s right-hand man caught speeding at 171 km/h

Plante, for her part, defended Dorais earlier this week. Her office issued a statement saying Dorais regrets his behaviour but that it didn’t compromise the quality of his work.

Other elected officials have taken Dorais to task for his driving record. Ensemble Montréal interim leader Lionel Perez said earlier this week it showed “a serious lack of judgement” on Dorais’ part.

Perez maintains the apology comes too late and adds if Dorais stays on, he will be a distraction to the administration.

City Coun. Marvin Rotrand called the apology “a few tepid paragraphs on Facebook” with no consequences. He said Projet Montréal “simply wants the issue to go away and be forgotten.”

“I don’t believe Montrealers will feel the matter is closed,” he said in a tweet.

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—With files from Global News’ Annabelle Olivier and the Canadian Press

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