• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion Action Party tells residents to be careful of city hall ‘misinformation’


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion council recently announced the $1.1 million purchase of a 188,000 square-foot tract of land adjacent to Vaudreuil Bay at 405 St. Charles Avenue as the site of its new city hall.

The Vaudreuil-Dorion Action Party is advising citizens to be aware of what it calls a misinformation campaign regarding the city’s plans for a new city hall that is apparently being waged by the recently created new municipal political party L’Équipe nous sommes / Team We Are.

In a press release dated April 22, the Action Party advises citizens to get their information regarding any issue from city hall or by attending its bi-monthly council meetings. The release claims, “...an opposition group’ that will run in the upcoming municipal elections November is sharing disinformation through social media with the sole purpose of inflaming discussions regarding projects like the current steps being taken by the city to build their first city hall.

“This is a flagrant attempt to generate controversy for political gain. It is important to specify that this opposition group’s proposal to extend the lease for 2555 Dutrisac Street for another year would represent approximately 25 per cent of the purchase cost of the current land acquired by the city,” stated Pilon, who is also leader of the Vaudreuil-Dorion Action Party.

False info claim disputed

Pierre Séguin, who presently is the only other person who recently announced his candidacy for mayor along with a full slate of eight candidates running for council under the Team We Are political banner, dismissed Pilon’s insinuations as being untrue.

“As far as false information is concerned, it’s not the case,” Séguin told Your Local Journal. “What we’re saying is there is a lack of information. The decision was made behind closed doors without public consultation. We’re not giving out false information, we’re asking for information.”

Séguin said the city should consider asking the owner of the shopping centre where the current city hall is located on Dutrisac Street to extend the lease. “The city has been there as a tenant since 1977. I don’t think that being there for one more year than expected would be the end of the world.

“This would allow people to have a say on this project regarding the architecture, financing, scope of the building and its location. We’re just asking for transparency from the city to consult with our citizens about the project. It’s the citizens who are going have to pay for it anyways,” said Séguin.

“The citizens have the right to ask questions because we’re talking about a major issue. Something as important as this isn’t decided behind a closed door without consulting anyone, but this is exactly what the mayor and council are doing right now. We’re not giving out false information – we’re just asking for information and a consultation,” Séguin added.

City has nothing to hide

Pilon said the city has nothing to hide and is complying with an access to information request made by Séguin to obtain complete information from the city regarding the city hall project. He added all Séguin has to do is inform the city directly and they will accommodate him with all the information it has on any topic.

Extending the city hall lease at its current location on the second floor of a shopping centre for another year is not a suitable option because it will not only hamper the city’s intention to proceed with the project to have it ready by 2019, but it will also result in having to renew a lease for another year, for about $300,000, money that will go directly for the land purchase, said Pilon.

There is also a possibility the owner of the shopping centre may not agree to a lease extension. “It would all depend on what the owner wants to do with the building,” said Pilon.

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