By Kevin Woodhouse
While he has been representing the borough of Lachine as councillor for Fort Rolland district since 2005, Jean-François Cloutier has served as an independent for the last two years of his mandate but will run under the Équipe Dauphin Lachine team in the forthcoming November municipal election.
In a press release last week, Cloutier noted that the citizens of Lachine “are very aware that our local needs are immense and that the financial resources at hand are insufficient and do not allow for street repairs nor the renewal of sports and community infrastructures.”
When asked to elaborate on this position, Cloutier told The Suburban that “with the creation of this new party for Lachine, we will be able to create strategic alliances with other borough parties as well as the city of Montreal which will likely form a kind of minority government.”
Cloutier thinks that in the November election, Montrealers voting for a new mayor will probably split their vote giving the three main parties a solid number of seats but not enough to hold a majority vote.
The two time councillor has also heard from residents who find that since Lachine was merged with the city of Montreal, “services have gone down while taxes continue to rise. People are telling me that they are not being served properly in the western part of the island as there has been nothing for them in terms of public transportation expansion. Residents are tired of being considered second class citizens.”
Cloutier finds it unjust that cities like Laval get metro expansions but when he proposed a study on bringing a metro extension out towards the west at Montreal City Hall a few years ago, “they did not even want to hear the word ‘study’ let alone talk about a metro expansion.”
Cloutier is determined to get a better financial deal from the city of Montreal and warned that “this is the last chance for Montreal to give us better services for the amount of tax revenue they receive from Lachine.”
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