• John Jantak

Ste. Anne councillor expelled from caucus discussion meetings


Ste. Anne de Bellevue Councillor Michel Boudreault told Your Local Journal that he has been expelled two consecutive times from participating in the discussion process during the city’s internal caucus meetings.

Ste. Anne de Bellevue District 6 Councillor Michel Boudreault has revealed that he has been expelled two consecutive times from participating in the discussion process during the city’s internal caucus meetings. Boudreault confirmed that the two expulsions happened during the caucus meetings held at city hall on April 20 and May 5. He said that during the meeting on April 20 related to the economic growth of the city’s northern sector, Mayor Paola Hawa asked Boudreault to leave the caucus chamber during the discussion period after a presentation was made by the city’s Director General Michel Bonhomme.

“During the verbal process, I was allowed to present my questions, but when it came to the points to discuss, I was asked to leave,” Boudreault told Your Local Journal in a telephone interview last Tuesday May 5 after the caucus meeting. According to Boudreault, the decision to expel him from the discussion period was made by Hawa and a majority of councillors, who nodded their heads in agreement. The same situation arose during the May 5 caucus meeting.

After resolutions and other issues were presented to the council members, and after Boudreault formally presented his question to Bonhomme, Hawa asked Boudreault to leave after a majority of councillors again nodded in agreement that he should leave the discussion group. When Boudreault was asked the reason, he said the mayor and a majority of caucus members had decided they didn’t want to debate in front of him anymore. “When I asked why, I was told that most of the caucus members didn’t trust me anymore, that I was leaking information. So I left. Now it’s official. I’m not allowed to be a part of any discussions with other council members. They don’t want to debate with me anymore,” he said.

Boudreault said the situation has been simmering between him and Hawa for about one year now because, “… after I met with her four or five months after her mandate started, I spoke to her about how she should sell her projects and ideas rather than imposing them. She has good ideas, but she’s trying to impose them. I’ve been very outspoken.” The expulsion will not affect his ability to service his municipal constituency because he’s still officially a part of caucus and is privy to all the documents required to fulfill his mandate as councillor, Boudreault said.

Hawa said the expulsion was necessary to allow caucus members to continue with their work unhampered and because of false statements that Boudreault reportedly posted on Facebook. “One thing he does not have at this time is the privilege of listening to other people’s comments,” she said. “The reason for that is because he has made unfortunate statements on Facebook that basically throw our team members under a bus and that are clearly wrong,” Hawa said. “His statements are false. He refuses to retract them knowing that they are false and that has a negative effect on people. “When people cannot trust you to tell the truth, and to not have the integrity to admit in public that the statements you make against your council members cannot be retracted because they’re falsehoods, this has a negative effect against the entire unit in regards to trust and respect,” Hawa added.

She declined to say what statements were made by Boudreault that led to his dismissal during the caucus discussion period. “I’m not going to discuss what was discussed at the table. He’s fully aware of it and was made aware of it on several occasions,” said Hawa. “On one occasion he promised not to do it again but he continued to do it again.

While Boudreault is not allowed to participate in the caucus discussions, Hawa said he is still a member. “I want to make one thing clear; Mr. Boudreault is still a part of caucus,” she said. “He gets all the information the same way as everybody else. He is in the room when all the resolutions are explained to all the members of council at the same time. We’re all at the same table. Referring to the expulsion during the discussion period, Hawa said, “It’s something that had to be done if the city wants to progress and move forward. We have a lot of huge fi les on our plate and a lot of things we need to take care of. We’re not interested in playing games. We need to move forward and do what’s best for the city.”