Laval enters new era

By Geneviève April

Laval voters turned the page, Nov. 3rd, on the more than 20-year reign of Gilles Vaillancourt’s PRO party. They elected Marc Demers as their new mayor on election night, along with most of his team.

Despite challenges to his eligibility to run in Laval, Demers won handily, garnering almost 20% more votes than his nearest opponent, with a strong 44.2% of the ballots cast in his favour.

His opponents cried foul and complained to Elections Quebec. They wanted he election authority to bar Demers from running in Laval’s 2013 election, since he did not live in the city for 12 months continuously beforehand.

Opposing legal advisors published conflicting opinions on the matter and, ultimately, the Court will have to decide, an argument Demers’ adversaries used from the outset of the campaign.

“One cannot stop someone from placing a complaint,” said Demers, in regards to the question of his eligibility.

“I will not back down due to intimidation” repeated Laval’s newly elected mayor.

Being pulled in all directions by supporters and journalists, the new mayor of Quebec’s third-largest city answered a few questions. When asked what was going to happen with the trusteeship situation, Demers remained adamant, but stated that he would like the trustees to stay on as advisors to the newly elected members of city council.

“I would like the trustees to respect the voice of democracy and work with us as advisors, to insure a smooth transition,” Demers asserted. “They are well-versed in all of the developments during the last six months dossiers, so we are going to wait and see how it will go.”

Demers reiterated that he wants to change the strict rules that govern citizens who want to pose questions during city council meetings.

“The objective of the question period is for citizens to get answers,” he stated, without elaborating as to what the changes would entail.

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