The mayor of the Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, Sue Montgomery, requested a safeguard order from the Superior Court of Quebec in order to prevent other elected officials from communicating with the director of the borough without going through her. This request was rejected on November 6.
The cause of all this, a resolution proposed by the elected Lionel Perez during a meeting of the borough council which was finally adopted after the mayoress had used her right of veto. This resolution allowed the director general of the borough, Stéphane Plante, to communicate directly with the councilors without going through the mayor’s office or notifying him by email.
The mayor therefore turned to the courts by asking for a safeguard order against the director of the borough, but also against the City of Montreal. For Sue Montgomery and her lawyer, such a resolution neutralizes the mayoress in the exercise of her functions, and allows interference by the City of Montreal in the administration of the borough. For Mayor Montgomery, this also changes the status quo existing between her and the City pending two more judgments.
The Court’s decision
Considering that this request for a safeguard order does not meet any criteria justifying its implementation as an emergency or serious prejudice, the Court rejected it.
On the contrary, for the Court, such an order “would risk creating an unhealthy environment in which the slightest deviation would give rise to contempt of the Tribunal”.
The Court considers that the ordinance does not prevent the mayoress “from exercising her powers of surveillance, investigation and control”. In addition, it is not excluded or isolated insofar as the information exchanged between the director of the borough and the elected officials will be communicated to all the other elected officials, which includes the mayor.
“It is possible that the resolutions must be rescinded. On merit, the mayor will plead and perhaps demonstrate what she is alleging; but until then, there is no emergency. ”concludes Judge Janick Perreault.
This morning, Darlington District City Councilor and Leader of the Official Opposition, Lionel Perez, shared with Metro his reaction to the court’s decision. He says he is very satisfied.
“The court completely rejected Ms. Montgomery’s request and confirmed the right of elected officials to speak with the borough director. I am very proud to have presented this motion and to have personally intervened in the legal proceedings to confirm this right and defend the interests of my fellow citizens of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. ” Lionel Perez, City Councilor for the District of Darlington and Leader of the Official Opposition
During the day, Metro also spoke with City Councilor Marvin Rotrand on the subject: “Sue Montgomery tends to go to court a lot to resolve problems. Unfortunately, she does not get along well with all councilors and officials. She really isolated herself from everyone and it’s a shame. ”
The city councilor of the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough council reversed the judgment rendered by Judge Janick Perreault. “In this specific situation, the judge let her know that she could not prevent the city councilors from doing their job. That was really the problem here. She wanted to prevent us from working with the office manager. By doing this, we would be dependent on it. She thinks that by carrying out the duties of her position, she is completely responsible for the borough, but this is not the case. She has no more authority or legitimacy than any other board member. The judge was basically okay with that, ”he said.
For Marvin Rotrand, however, this judgment does not mark the end of this legal saga: “She is involved in several other disputes at taxpayer expense. From what I could understand, the City of Montreal has already spent $ 160,000 on its various trials. Obviously, she has the right to defend her own rights, but we anticipate that this whole story could end badly for her. ”