Debate at the town hall: Marie-Josée Savard underestimates the value of the debt | Municipal elections in Quebec 2021

The blunder occurred in the portion of the debate where the five candidates for mayor had to answer 10 choice-answer questions asked in bursts on public finances and the history of the Capitale-Nationale. Yet more experienced than the other candidates for city hall, Marie-Josée Savard obtained by far the worst score, i.e. 4 out of 10 correct answers.

In particular, she estimated the municipal debt at $ 550 million, three times less than the $ 1.5 billion entered in the last budget.

Ms. Savard was nevertheless vice-president of the executive committee for four years., recalls his opponent, Jean-François Gosselin. I find it surprising, dropped the leader of Quebec 21.

Jean Rousseau sees it, for his part, a lack of seriousness in the preparation of the debate. You have to know the budget and know it inside out. If she doesn’t know the city’s net debt, where has she been all these years?

This is a question we would have expected her to be able to answer, commented the strong and proud leader of Quebec, Bruno Marchand, without missing the opportunity to respond to the attacks that the candidate had addressed to him. She spent every week of the start of the campaign telling me I didn’t know that, that I didn’t know the city, and that I would have an eternal learning curve. Well, I know the City’s debt.

I was not very good

Regarding her poor assessment of the municipal debt, Marie-Josée Savard suggests that she had difficulty handling the boxes that the candidates had to use to give their answer to the moderator of the debate, while repeating to several times that she wasn’t trying to justify his result.

Marie-Josée Savard, candidate for mayor of Quebec.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Carl Boivin

In this same section of the debate, Marie-Josée Savard also replied that it was free to board RTC buses since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when this measure is no longer in force. She was also wrong about the portion that the municipal employees’ salaries represent in the budget, the largest expense item in Quebec City.

Seriously, I was not very good. I will assume it, I cannot help it. This is the result I got, but I find it hard to believe that people are going to stop at a quiz to find out if the person is correct or not, if they have the skills.

On the defensive

Marie-Josée Savard also had to defend her record for a good part of the evening. She spent eight years in the Labeaume administration during two separate terms. Her opponents have accused her of contempt towards municipal officials and to have fail miserably to protect the built heritage.

Jean Rousseau intervenes during the debate.

The candidate for mayor of Quebec, Jean Rousseau.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Carl Boivin

When the mayor called the blue collar workers system crossers, it hurt. Mme Savard, it is still present in your administration, launched Jean Rousseau.

I suspected that I was going to be the target a bit, I’m not surprised about that. Of course, I am defending a record. […] It’s a big challenge, admitted Ms. Savard in the press scrum after the debate. It’s always easy to criticize the results of someone’s case when you’ve never had to carry a case, she said to her opponents, two of whom have never sat in town hall.

Tramway and VALSE

On the subject of mobility, the pressure was redirected to the outgoing leader of the opposition, Jean-François Gosselin. He is the only candidate to reject the tram project. The leader of Quebec 21 instead wants a light metro which, according to him, could be built with the same envelope of $ 3.3 billion.

napkin […] and you arrive with a video of 2.5minutes and you say: “It will happen at the same cost as the Quebec City tramway ” “,” text “:” You have the nerve to tell us that we have a project on a napkin […] and you arrive with a video of 2.5 minutes and you say: “It will happen at the same cost as the Quebec tramway ” “}}”>You have the nerve to tell us that we have a project on a napkin […] and you come up with a 2.5 minute video and you say: “It will happen at the same cost as the Quebec City tram”, remarked Marie-Josée Savard, incredulous.

The leader of Transition Quebec accused Quebec 21 of leading a campaign of disinformation and rely on a geologist climatosceptic for defend your public transport project.

Jackie Smith, behind an lectern, speaks in a debate.

Jackie Smith, candidate for mayor of Quebec.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Carl Boivin

Jackie Smith argues that the costs explode usually when it comes to excavation work.

Jean-François Gosselin expected such criticism and defended tooth and nail his project called VALSE. Other cities are doing it. Why wouldn’t we be able to do it in Quebec? We will be able to do it too. I’m convinced.

Jean-François Gosselin, behind a lectern, speaks during a debate.

Jean-François Gosselin, candidate for mayor of Quebec.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Carl Boivin

That’s what it takes in Quebec, a light metro, with an electric trambus to get to D’Estimauville, hammered the leader of Quebec 21.

Strong and proud Quebec

The strong and proud chef of Quebec (QFF) appeared to have less speaking time during the debate. I don’t think you should judge a performance by the number of times you speak or the length of your responses, replied Bruno Marchand to a journalist who asked him to comment on his performance.

Bruno Marchand intervened during the debate.

Bruno Marchand intervened during the debate.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Carl Boivin

I said what I had to say, I took the place I needed to take to explain the vision we have of the city. When the other three bicker in the traditional town hall way, I don’t think citizens care., analyzes the head of QFF.

He once again defended the idea of ​​a fee for real estate projects along the route of the future tramway. Bruno Marchand remains convinced that this initiative would make it possible to avoid drawing $ 300 million from the city’s coffers for the realization of the public transport project.

Apart from Jackie Smith, the other three candidates deplore that such a fee would have the effect of gentrifying the neighborhoods near the tram.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.