Montreal

Tremblay stands by his plan for Parc Avenue

The mayor of Montreal vigorously defended his handling of the Parc Avenue renaming affair in front of dozens of people who showed up at a city council meeting Monday night to criticize his plan.

The mayor of Montreal vigorously defended his handling of the Parc Avenue renaming affairas dozens of people showed up at a city council meeting Monday night to criticize the plan.

Mayor Gérald Tremblay tabled his proposal to rename the major north-south artery after former Liberal premier Robert Bourassa, as angry residents vented their frustration in front of City Hall.

Many are upset about the possibility of Parc Avenue losing its name, but more are steamed by the way Tremblay has handled the issue.

"We were not asked. We weren't consulted on it," said Jacques Thibault, a member of the Milton Park Citizens Committee.

A growing number of people are calling for public consultations on the name change.

Some residents at the meeting Monday were wearing bright yellow t-shirts that read "Save Parc Avenue." They offered Tremblay a shirt, but he refused the gift, and insisted he's done everything by the book.

"That is the way it has always been done. Every time there's been a name change, it's been through city council. That's the consulting process that is in place," he told CBC News.

"If people say that I'm autocratic, you should tell them that it's not the case," Tremblay added.

Tremblay refused to speculate on the possibility of holding public hearings on the plan.

He said city councillors will be allowed to vote freely on the plan at the end of November— a rarity at Montreal's city hall, where elected officials normally vote along party lines.

Councillors have been instructed to consult with their constituents before the street name vote, the mayor said.