Wednesday, 21 Aug 2019

Luc Ferrandez’s resignation comes as part of growing environmental push

There is a political shakeup in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough following Luc Ferrandez’s resignation as mayor. City Councillor Alex Norris will now act as interim borough mayor until a byelection is held next fall.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Ferrandez said on Tuesday he was unable to push the seriousness of a strong ecological agenda.

“I am incapable of influencing the mayor on the severity of the situation and the measures that should be imposed,” Ferrandez said. “I choose not to stay within this team.”

Ferrandez continued he was dreaming of quitting for months. He described “an impression of imposture” and  “more precisely, fooling citizens that we collectively are taking all measures to slow the demise of our planet.”

Mayor Valérie Plante was on the defensive Wednesday after loosing one of the most influential members of her team, just when her administration was getting the environmental ball rolling. Plante said she is very proud of where her administration is now and says it’s only the beginning when it comes to environmental action.

“Of course I’m upset,” she said. “Mr. Ferrandez is leaving because I think we are putting all the pieces together.”

From a ban on single-use plastics to phasing out oil heating in buildings and pushing for more public transit, the Plante administration has pushed forward several environmentally friendly initiatives. However, advocates say more can be done.

Ferrandez was calling for taxing drivers by putting higher fares on city parking and crossing onto the island of Montreal.

“I think Mr. Ferrandez reached his limitation in the existing structure,” Plante said.

Quebec Green Party Leader Alex Tyrell was shocked at the announcement but says Ferrandez resignation embodies the frustration that a lot of people have been feeling.

He says Plante campaigned on bold gestures for Montreal and while fortunately things have gone in the right direction, there is still a lot more that could be accomplished.

“Even though they satisfied their electoral promises, a lot of people now expect them to go much further in light of the climate catastrophe,” Tyrrell said.

Climate change is a growing factor for voters in the ballot box. Tyrrell points to the historical success of the Green Party on Prince Edward Island.

“The Green Party has never been in a better place,” Tyrrell said.

He sees this year’s federal election will focus largely on the issue of environment. The House of Commons will hold a debate on Thursday about the rising climate change emergency across Canada.

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