MONTREAL, May 9, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Early this afternoon, Richard Deschamps announced that Union Montréal would wind up its operations. The party will be dissolved in the coming days, once the legal and technical procedures have been completed.
"Unfortunately, without going over it all again, the testimony by different witnesses at the Charbonneau Commission in recent months has severely affected and badly tarnished the image of Union Montréal. All the elected representatives who have stayed on and are here with me today have continued to work with commitment and passion, as they always have, for their respective boroughs and for all Montrealers," said Mr. Deschamps.
"After numerous meetings and discussions within the party's caucuses and at the different levels, and after having heard the comments and opinions of their fellow citizens and boroughs, the current elected Union Montréal representatives have all agreed to tender their resignations today.
"They have also agreed to initiate and take all the appropriate action to dissolve Union Montréal.
"At the final executive committee meeting, I gave instructions and orders backed up by resolutions to have the party's operations wound up in accordance with the requirements of the DGEQ. The official agent has been working closely with the DGEQ, which will have final responsibility for closing the party's books in accordance with recognized accounting standards and the governing legislation in this respect. All the elected representatives also want all the monies accumulated, after we have paid all our debts, to be returned to the city of Montréal consolidated fund so that there can be no doubt in the public mind. This means that the elected representatives here with me are relinquishing a sum of money that could have been used to organize the next election. We believe, however, that in the current context our personal integrity and credibility are worth much more than any amount of money amassed by a political party, even if that money has come from legal fundraising activities since 2009.
"The Charbonneau Commission will continue its work over the coming weeks and months. We await its final report with interest. We hope to find out soon whether some unscrupulous and unethical individuals enriched themselves from the Union Montréal party coffers, despite the audits performed every year by well-known accounting firms.
"That will allow us to at least confirm the too-often forgotten fact that many elected representatives and members who have worked within Union Montréal have done so in good faith and for the benefit of their fellow Montrealers.
"We have not taken this decision lightly. It is not easy to walk away from 12 years of working with colleagues whose tremendous efforts and many qualities we have always appreciated. However, we have to face the facts and, because we are realists and pragmatists, we have reached this unfortunate conclusion," said the former interim leader of Union Montréal.
In the 2000s, the Quebec government decided to re-engineer the Quebec municipal scene. This initially led to the merger of all the municipalities on Montréal Island.
It also led to the birth of the Union des citoyens et des citoyennes de l'île de Montréal. Gérald Tremblay, former provincial Minister of Industry, Trade, Science and Technology, made the jump to municipal politics. On August 26, 2001, the founding convention of the Union des citoyens et des citoyennes de l'île de Montréal (UCIM) was held.
During the party's history, the Montréal electoral map has been significantly redrawn on two occasions; it became a single city on January 1, 2002.
In November 2005, Gérald Tremblay won a second term. He was elected for a third time in 2009.
In 2007, the Union des citoyens et des citoyennes de l'île de Montréal (UCIM) became Union Montréal.
A decade that transformed Montréal
"It must be recognized that we have some impressive achievements to our credit, and we have reason to be proud of them. To name just a few: the city's infrastructure was given particular attention, with some major investments. The work was absolutely necessary following decades of neglect. Public transit and active transportation have become essential tools in Montréal's development. We increased the amount of green space, and environmental issues are now taken into consideration in everything we do. The Université de Montréal Biodiversity Centre was added to the Space for Life, which now includes the new Planetarium. Montréal's cultural life has never been so vibrant and never have so many creators chosen the city. The Acadie-Chabanel and Acadie-Bourassa sectors, the Bassins du Nouveau Havre and Griffintown are all rediscovering their past splendour. Other parts of the city will soon be similarly revitalized.
"I salute Gérald Tremblay, with whom and thanks to whom we have accomplished so much in recent years. I wish much success to all my colleagues who will now be sitting as independents. I am convinced that they will continue, in this very difficult context, to serve Montrealers well because - call me an idealist - I know it is possible. We will all be charting our own course. For my part, I intend to devote myself to serving my fellow citizens of LaSalle who have done me the honour of giving me the very great privilege of representing them - an honour I strive to live up to every day," concluded Mr. Deschamps.
SOURCE: UNION MONTREAL
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