Laval city councillor for Souvenir-Labelle Jean Coupal, who was elected with the victorious Mouvement Lavallois in the 2013 municipal election, has decided to leave the governing party.
Coupal joins the ranks of a growing number of disaffected city councillors who prefer sitting as independents rather than with the council majority or the official opposition, which is perceived by some former members and critics as ineffective.
Critical of ML
In a statement Coupal issued last Monday, he said he has been sitting as an independent since December. He said he did this “in order to better represent the interests of the residents” of his district, as well as the interests of all Laval residents, and “not just from behind the closed doors of the Mouvement Lavallois caucus.”
Coupal said what ultimately made him decide to leave the ML was Laval city council’s recent awarding of a sole bidder computer services contract to an IT consultant who will be receiving nearly $3,000 a day for a total of more than $400,000 for 1,000 hours of work.
“In the beginning, the Mouvement Lavallois was created to oust Mayor Vaillancourt’s PRO des Lavallois,” Coupal said, referring to the former mayor’s defunct municipal party. “This was carried off with brilliance in November 2013.
“Since then, unfortunately, the Mouvement Lavallois has been determined to repeat the era of one-party rule in council,” he added, “by means of money which allows it to eliminate all opposition and to manage public funds without having to worry about the capacity of taxpayers to pay and the equity between them and public servants.”
Martin C. Barry