Chomedey councillor Aglaia Revelakis won’t be party’s lone presence on council
With the announcement by Action Laval last Monday that councillors Paolo Galati and Isabella Tassoni are being accepted back into the caucus, Chomedey city councillor Aglaia Revelakis won’t be Action Laval’s only elected representative on Laval city council as she was at one time.
On Monday, Action Laval interim-leader Archie Cifelli announced that councillors Isabella Tassoni and Paolo Galati were being reintegrated back into the party caucus. An Action Laval spokesperson said that a provincial government investigation has now cleared Tassoni, while also pointing out that Galati was never under investigation.
Expect De Cotis to be cleared
As for Action Laval councillor David De Cotis, the spokesperson said an announcement was expected, but that he anticipated De Cotis also would be cleared. The development came after the announced departure last week of two other Action Laval caucus members.
“I’m not going anywhere – I’m staying here,” Revelakis said in an interview with the Laval News shortly after councillors Michel Poissant and Daniel Hébert announced last week that they had decided to leave the party. In a statement Poissant and Hébert issued, they said they were leaving Action Laval to pursue their mandates as independents.
First elected with Mayor Marc Demers’ Mouvement lavallois in 2013 when Demers’ party first swept into office, Poissant and Hébert were part of a group of dissidents who broke away from the mayor, citing a lack of transparency in the administration, deciding later on to join Action Laval.
In a weakened position
Despite the fact the Action Laval council caucus had grown to six city councillors by March 2019, the departure of Poissant and Hébert had left Action Laval in a weakened position once again.
In February, Action Laval’s De Cotis, Tassoni and Galati had resigned from the Action Laval caucus following leaked information suggesting they were in a potential conflict of interest involving real-estate deals. The three denied any wrongdoing and their situation was being investigated by the Commission municipale du Québec.
A loyal follower
Had Tassoni and Galati not returned this week, Revelakis would have been the only remaining Action Laval city councillor. Originally elected in the 2013 breakthrough, she is the last elected Action Laval councillor from that time.
In March 2013, Revelakis was one of the very first candidates selected by party founder Jean-Claude Gobé to run in the first truly open elections the City of Laval had seen in the more than a decade since former mayor Gilles Vaillancourt had held onto power at Laval city hall.
Isolated on council
While she and Paolo Galati were the only Action Laval candidates elected in the 2013 Mouvement lavallois sweep, the two managed nonetheless to form the Official Opposition at that time. However, Galati later decided to jump over to the ML, leaving only Revelakis with Action Laval. Galati would later defect back to Action Laval as one of the group of five ML dissenters.
In the 2017 election, Revelakis continued to hold the Action Laval banner high as the party’s only candidate elected that year. She remained alone until March 2019 when councillors Galati, Hébert, Poissant, De Cotis and Tassoni left the ML, giving Action Laval the appearance at least of being the de facto opposition, even though the title officially belonged to the Parti Laval.
Future of three councillors
Revelakis said Action Laval had been waiting for the pending conclusions of the provincial inquiry to decide whether the exclusion of De Cotis, Tassoni and Galati would stand. “They had to step down from the party until their status was cleared,” she said. We’re going to rebuild this party and make sure that we win the next election.”
On Poissant’s departure
Regarding the departure of Poissant, who became Action Laval’s principal spokesperson soon after joining, Revelakis maintained that Poissant’s ambitions within the party ultimately weren’t entirely in keeping with Action Laval’s plans.
“He had the intention in the future to run as the leader of the party,” she said. “And when he saw that within our caucus and within our membership he was not the chosen one, I think he decided to go on his own.” As for Hébert, she suggested he may have felt compelled to follow Poissant out as the two were friends and allies.