Régis Labeaume regrets the departure of Jonatan Julien and even keeps the door open for a possible return. But at the same time, he says that the Mayor of Quebec can not bear the consequences of the actions of the City alone.
M . Labeaume announced Monday the changes made to its executive committee following the departure on Thursday, one of the pillars of his team. He summoned the media when he returned from New York where he was attending a UN economic meeting. So, he had to go back to the unfortunate sequence that led to the decision of Mr. Julien.
“I regret his departure, I thank him for the work done and I wish him good luck,” said the mayor. Although reluctant to talk about events, he raised some of the veil.
Thus, Mr. Labeaume said he contacted the counselor Neufchâtel-Lebourgneuf on his voice mail and text to talk to him before he made the decision to sit as an independent. He learned the news at the same time as everyone else. According to him, he got no answer. Friday, Mr. Labeaume was “cursed” on the tangent of this story. Today, he decided to look ahead. “Jonatan made his choices. I made mine. The page is turned, “says he, insisting that this file does not reflect the last of a series of differences between the two men.
Sign that he does not want to the one who was considered by many as his right arm, the mayor confirms that the door remains open if he wanted to return to the fold. “If so, I will be pleased to see if he can reinstate the executive committee.”
The Sun revealed on April 25 that the 15,000-square-meter, $ 2.6-million land acquired for the construction of a new police station at the corner of Pierre-Bertrand Boulevard in Lebourgneuf could not accommodate more than 325 parking spaces, whereas it would take 700 to meet the needs of policemen during peak periods.
To alleviate this problem, the City was considering a second parking lot on the grounds of the RTC, rue des Rocailles, some 500 meters from the future station.
This is the latest in a series of failures in the case of the construction of the plant that led to the departure of Mr. Julien. Last Wednesday, Régis Labeaume had confided: “My colleague has escaped”, in connection with the bad assessment of the costs of the power plant project, which went from $ 40 to $ 72 million, and the lack of space on the land acquired for build it.
This public blame convinced Julien to leave Team Labeaume and sit as an independent. Thursday, he explained to the press that “the release of Mr. Labeaume is unjustified in substance and totally unacceptable in its form and the bond of trust is now broken.
On Monday, Régis Labeaume said that his version of events differs from that of Mr. Julien. “My bond of trust has also deteriorated a lot in this case […]. The mayor can not, at any time, under any circumstances, and for everyone, always bear alone the consequences of the actions taken to the City of Quebec. The more experienced have the flexibility to work and tie their file before the final decisions are made. With responsibility comes accountability and the duty to assume, “he explained.
“The management of the file of the police station gave the impression of confusion and cost explosion while it comes back to the initial cost,” continues the mayor. It was with a lot of frustration that I took all this confusion on my back. It gives the impression that the administration was unable to manage this file. All this is very damaging when we are about to invest $ 3 billion in the construction of a structuring transportation network. The rest of the file [lack of space] has further reinforced this sense of incapacity of the administration. It’s unfair, “he summed up.
The leader of the official opposition, Jean-François Gosselin, believes that the mayor is attempting to trivialize “what happened in the case of the police station”. He is still asking for a plenary to make sure that [the project] is on the agenda and that the money is well spent.
For his part, Democracy Quebec’s advisor, Jean Rousseau, talks about the return of a certain justice. “The starting file was estimated at $ 80 million by the police. At the time, the mayor had called these requests “chrome and exaggerated”, he says.
The mayor of Quebec takes over the reins of the construction of the future police station. All the hypotheses are on the table, including the possibility of building the power station on another … bigger land.
Mayor Labeaume himself had more questions than answers to give Monday on the project of the future police station. “The plant’s file is on my desk. Currently, I want to get back in to see everything again, to make sure we are ok. Fortunately, there is not much money invested. The financial losses will be minimal, “he said. The project is still designing the plans.
The main problem with the current terrain is the lack of space to park all vehicles in a surface parking. Ideally, one wants to avoid building an expensive storied parking. It is even less desirable to turn to a more expensive underground parking. However, these solutions must be considered to avoid developing a second parking lot, avenue des Rocailles, at the headquarters of the RTC.
For the Brotherhood of Police, this latter option raises security issues for plainclothes police officers who would then have to walk to the station.
“I wish to inform the police officers of the City of Quebec that we will do everything to ensure a safe environment,” said the mayor.
“I asked everyone to look at assumptions elsewhere as well,” said Labeaume. The choice of another plot could even be done outside the Lebourgneuf sector, initially chosen for its proximity to highways.
This revision of the project could lead to a delay before the inauguration of a new building originally planned for 2021.
They will start with four to take back the files become orphans with the departure of Jonatan Julien.
The current head of major transport projects and the sustainable mobility plan, Rémy Normand, becomes one of the two vice-presidents of the executive committee. The other vice-presidency is already provided by Marie-Josée Savard. Mr. Normand adds finances and supplies to his duties.
Steeve Verret, already a member of the committee, will take engineering and street infrastructure.
Jeremiah Ernould is the only newcomer to the executive. The 33-year-old adviser will be in charge of public works, evaluation, building management and motorized equipment.
Finally, Régis Labeaume himself takes some of the tasks. He will deal with human resources, labor relations and major projects.
If he is no longer a member of the executive, Jonatan Julien still retains his title of president of the district of Rivers. Mayor Labeaume will decide later if he can remain vice-president of the Capital Transportation Network.