In a surprise move, all six Brownsburg-Chatham councillors gave Mayor Catherine Trickey an ultimatum at council’s April 3 meeting: resign with 48 hours or expect legal action. What’s more, council approved having the municipality spend up to $15,000 for legal proceedings if necessary.
The resolution was read by councillor Sylvie Décosse, who said that the councillors had organized a special meeting and that their decision to ask for the mayor’s resignation was unanimous.
Décosse read a lengthy list of grievances against the mayor, reiterating that the mayor had authorized expenditures which had not been authorized by council, and taking her to task for a March 29 article written by Le Régional journalist Francis Legault in which council contends that the mayor talked about subjects which should be private and therefore breached the municipality’s confidentialty. The motion also stated that she talked about subjects which had not even been discussed by council. The resolution further stated that council will not pay directly or indirectly for services which it did not authorize.
The motion also stated that councillors have lost all confidence in the mayor, and asked her to provide her resignation in writing within 48 hours.
When Décosse finished reading the motion, there was much applause from the audience, but there was also some applause when Trickey replied that she had a mandate to serve as mayor and she would complete that mandate.
Trickey confirmed to The Review that she would complete her mandate and that she is preparing a reply to council on the matter and that further, she will reply to the claims about spending authorized by her without the approval of council.
In a March 14 letter sent to the municipality from the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation tu Territoire (MAMOT), Richard Villeneuve, CPA, CA, reviewed the expenditures of $2,257.36 paid to legal firm Loranger Marcoux in 2016. This item had been authorized solely by the mayor, but was approved retroactively by council, Villeneuve noted in the letter. He went on to say that it had been brought to his attention that another such instance had occurred.
A complaint to MAMOT regarding the mayor had been made by Kevin Bush.
The letter, which was addressed to the former Directeur général (DG) René Tousignant, advised him to deliver the letter to councillors in order to take the necessary measures to ensure that this kind of situation does not happen again.
From the beginning, Trickey has maintained that she had been in a position where she made the decision she felt was best for the municipality.
The majority of council recently voted not to extend DG René Tousignant’s contract, Brownsburg-Chatham councillor Stephen Rolland told The Review.
Council was to meet Tuesday evening (April 10) to discuss a possible DG replacement.
During one of the two question periods, Martin Charron read from what he described as a press release from Tousignant, although an audience member who looked at the letter afterward said it was unsigned. Tousignant’s statement contained accusations towards the mayor related to his treatment while employed by the municipality, but ended with him stating that he hoped people will remember his work in a positive way and thanked everyone for their support.
There were challenges to council related to bringing new businesses to the municipality, one in particular stating that the Argenteuil MRC (regional government), which consists of local mayors, was preventing Brownsburg-Chatham from having its own industrial park.
Allan Carpenter was adamant about the need for an industrial park in Brownsburg-Chatham. He contended that the municipal council should be able to decide what happens within the boundaries of the municipality — not the MRC.
“Grenville has one …. why should we not have the right to have an industrial park — it could brings jobs and reduce our taxes?” Carpenter asked.
“I don’t think it is right that the mayors of other municipalities tell us what we can and cannot do,” Carpenter said.
Councillor Stephen Rolland replied that the municipality was kind of stuck, as much of the business development seemed to happen in Lachute.
Rolland said that Brownsburg-Chatham could develop agriculture and increase its population, but said that the municipality would likely remain a municipality for people who work in Lachute.
Carpenter answered that there were no longer any banks in Brownsburg-Chatham and asked how the population would increase when no one even has any interest in buying a house in the municipality?