Verdun borough mayor calls it quits
Independent councillors demand more resources
Claude Trudel, mayor of Montreal's Verdun borough, announced he will be leaving politics following the recent shakeups at city hall.
Trudel, 70, said he would be stepping down Tuesday after contemplating an exit from political life for some time. He said the recent shake-up at Montreal City Hall helped him make his decision.
He will be stepping down as councillor, chair of the public security commission and member of the city council speaker's committee at Tuesday's Verdun borough council meeting.
Trudeal said he was "shaken" by the recent resignation of former Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay – a man he said he "admired and respected."
He also said he has no desire to take part in the coalition formed by newly-elected Mayor Michael Applebaum, which he said undermines the balance of power on the executive committee.
Independent councillors want resources
Since Applebaum was elected as the city's interim mayor Nov. 16, 13 city councillors have left the Union Montréal party to sit as independents.
Now, some of the city's newly-independent councillors say they want the same rights and funding they had as party members before calling it quits with Union Montréal.
Marvin Rotrand, the former leader of Union Montréal at city council, left despite being unhappy about the decision. At the time, he said it was to "maintain credibility for the institution of city council."
Now, Rotrand says independent councillors are left with very few resources to do their job because of a bylaw that governs how council works.
"It doesn't give much of a role to independents in question period or representation on commissions. And, on top of that, they don't have any resources. They don't have secretaries, they don't have officers, they don't have computers," he said.
Vision Montréal councillor Anie Samson said she believes the councillors who decided to leave on their own should take responsibility for their decision.
"When you go independent, you have a price to pay," Samson said.
Samson said the city could look at changing the rules for the election in Nov. 2013.
Though city hall officials told independent councillors they would have access to some funding starting in January, Rotrand said he's not willing to wait.
"I can't accept a situation where the parties are in such doubt in the public mind and yet they can't demand all the resources and all of the rights," said Rotrand.