Lachine borough councillor ejected from Projet Montréal over 'lack of solidarity'

·2 min read

Lachine borough councillor Julie-Pascale Provost has been kicked out of the Projet Montréal caucus, due to a "lack of collaboration and solidarity," the party announced in a release Friday night.

Provost has been vocal recently in opposition to her own party's plan to convert the Lachine marina into a public waterfront park.

She has criticized the plan by saying it lacks transparency and preparation. Provost was the only Projet member to vote against the termination of the marina operator's contract on Sept. 14 and against the borough's budget on Oct. 5.

Despite the recent conflict, Projet Montréal's statement announcing Provost's exclusion made no mention of the Lachine marina.

Instead, the release stated that her lack of collaboration was negatively affecting the team's work and citizen services.

The release said that the decision was the result of a unanimous vote from the Projet Montréal caucus and is effective immediately.

Montreal mayor Valérie Plante and Lachine mayor Maja Vodanovic declined comment.

'Acrimonious' working relationship

In an email, Projet communications director Julien Acosta said relations between Provost and the other elected officials in Lachine and at Projet more broadly had been strained for the last three years.

In a newsletter sent on Friday, the president of the Projet Montréal caucus, Craig Sauvé, as well as the party's director general, Raphaëlle Rinfret-Pilon described a "toxic" working relationship, saying that since 2017, the relations between Provost and her colleagues had been tense, if not "openly acrimonious."

For her part, Provost told Radio-Canada that she was "deeply hurt by the way things played out."

She said she only found out about being ejected from the party when the local newspaper called to ask how she planned to pay for her bi-weekly column now that Projet Montréal was no longer responsible for her budget.

"I can't believe they excluded me from the party without telling me first," said Provost, who now represents the district of the Canal as an independent.

"It seems to me like a major lack of respect."

Provost said that when she was elected with Projet Montréal, she was told she wouldn't have to toe the party line.

She described the last three years as "extremely difficult" saying that the work climate was "hostile."

Provost is the third elected official to be booted from the governing party, joining Giuliana Fumagalli and Sue Montgomery.

Following Friday night's release, the official opposition at City Hall put out its own response, saying that "it's clear that Projet Montréal has a problem with strong women who defend the interests of their citizens within their caucus."

The statement, attributed to Ensemble Montréal member and Saint-Laurent borough mayor Alan DeSousa, suggest that Provost's "only mistake" was speaking out against her party.