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Christine Gosselin leaves Projet Montreal, calling Mayor Plante’s administration ‘authoritarian’

Montreal City Councillor Christine Gosselin.
Montreal City Councillor Christine Gosselin. City of Montreal

Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie elected official Christine Gosselin announced on Facebook she will be leaving Projet Montreal.

Gosselin told her social media following on Thursday evening she will be serving as an independent municipal elected official for Old Rosemont as of 2021.

“There are times in life when our conscience calls us out and we need to respond,” she wrote.

“I announce that I’m leaving Projet Montreal as this political formation exists today.”

Gosselin denounced Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante’s management, calling it “authoritarian”.

Read more: Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery removed from Projet Montreal caucus

She questioned Plante’s constant pronouncement of feminist values that she alleged don’t seem to align with her actions.

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“I am deeply concerned by what we learn from the judgment rendered by the Superior Court in the case between the City of Montreal and the mayor of Côtes-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Sue Montgomery. So far, we have had two conflicting versions of a worrying situation,” Gosselin writes.

“Now we know it was the City that acted illegally and that Sue Montgomery was, not only justified in resisting pressure on her to fire her chief of staff Annalisa Harris, but she was showing integrity by refusing to do so.”

Criticizing the mayor’s handling of the situation, Gosselin said she was disappointed to see her “(inability) to accept responsibility”.

Click to play video: 'Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and NDG Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery involved in a war of words' Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and NDG Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery involved in a war of words
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and NDG Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery involved in a war of words – Jan 27, 2020

Gosselin’s resignation comes after Montgomery won a court battle against the City of Montreal.  A Quebec Superior Court Judge granted a permanent injunction last Friday forcing the city to lift restrictions against Montgomery’s chief of staff.

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Annalisa Harris wasn’t allowed to communicate with borough employees or take part in any meetings. The city’s comptroller general made the recommendations following an investigation that determined Harris had psychologically harassed two members of the borough staff.

Montgomery equated it to a firing in disguise, arguing the measures against Harris were unjustified and made it very difficult for Harris to do her job.

Appalled by the news, Gosselin writes this incident, among other things, pushed her to quit the party. She called on the media to investigate the case further calling the affair “extremely worrying”.

“(The) judgment states that there was a serious breach on the part of the Comptroller General even though this person is the guardian of the law, regulations and policies in matters of decision-making by elected officials and officials,” she wrote.

Read more: Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Mayor Sue Montgomery wins court battle

 

Gosselin said there are many stories circulating about internal problems and discontentment among elected officials.

“It appears that the behavior behind the scenes is not always consistent with the professions of virtue stated in public. In fact, the story of expulsions, departures and withdrawals for the next election speaks for itself.”

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Last Wednesday, councillor for the Loyola district Christian Arseneault resigned from the mayor’s party for the lack of funding in his Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.

The elected official said she would’ve liked to continue working for Projet Montreal because of the “necessary changes” brought to the table, but she couldn’t be complicit to the ill practices she has witnessed.

Global News reached out to the City of Montreal for comment, but did not hear back by press time.

— With files from Global’s Annabelle Olivier

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