Canada/Stricter rules for Percé municipal councils

Published on 18/03/2023 | La rédaction


The City of Percé will enforce more rigorously the regulations governing question period during public meetings of the municipal council.

From now on, citizens will have to limit themselves to questions only when they want to express themselves before the municipal council.

Percé Mayor Cathy Poirier announced at Tuesday night's meeting that it will no longer be possible for citizens to share comments at the microphone. It is important that people understand that question period is reserved for questions with a set amount of time at the microphone, she said.

Cathy Poirier is therefore applying more firmly a rule in the Quebec Municipal Code that states that Council may, by bylaw, prescribe the length of this period, the time at which it takes place and the procedure for asking a question.

According to the mayor, in recent months, citizens have used Question Period to spread misinformation about municipal issues, making the population confused about the facts of municipal life in Percé.

"It is not a question of muzzling citizens, on the contrary, people are welcome to come and ask questions. It is simply a question of information and to fight against misinformation, it is important to crack down.

- A quote from Cathy Poirier, mayor of Percé

Cathy Poirier admits that the phenomenon has been exacerbated since the implementation of the tourist fee on May 1st. There are more and more suspicions and allegations being made at municipal councils," she notes.

She also regrets that the public has become aggressive towards elected officials at times, especially during question period, which was not the case during her first term as mayor.

Before the levy, question periods were always very relevant. They were even my favorite part of the month. It allowed us to be more informed," says the mayor of Percé.

Cathy Poirier does not know how long she will apply the by-law during the question periods. She also invites the population to address the municipal councillors or her at any time, not only during council meetings. She hopes that the situation will be resolved quickly.

A bicycle path project at the Malbaie barachois

During the last council meeting, the City of Percé adopted a resolution to allow the Ministry of Transport to proceed with a project to build a footbridge parallel to the Barachois de Malbaie railway bridge.

The MTQ,

in collaboration with the City of Percé, wishes to extend the Route verte bicycle network by five to six kilometers from Barachois to Coin-du-Banc.

As part of the rehabilitation of the railroad between Port-Daniel-Gascons and Gaspé, the department has issued calls for tenders for the plans and specifications of the railroad bridge and wishes to include the development of the multifunctional footbridge.

The ministry is taking care of the financing, while the City of Percé is providing a symbolic sum, which will be quite meager, for the construction of the project," explains Cathy Poirier, mayor of Percé. These are huge costs, so we explained to the MTQ that this footbridge is not in our three-year capital plan and that our budget would not allow us to finance the project," she said, very excited by the idea.

The resolution adopted Tuesday night commits the City of Percé to taking over ownership of the multi-purpose footbridge once it is built and to ensure its maintenance.

The project was launched three years ago by the Comité citoyen de développement du barachois to honor the fauna and flora of the area.

Construction is expected to begin in 2024 for delivery no later than 2025.


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