By Geneviève April and Robert Frank
Emilio Migliozzi has pulled out of a petition to intervene in Quebecor’s lawsuit against the City of Laval and the Cité de la culture et sports.
In January, after citizens started questioning the propriety of Laval’s deal with Evenko to build the Place Bell sports and cultural centre, the former Mouvement lavallois party member joined his former colleagues Marc Demers and David de Cotis in signing the petition.
Since then, Migliozzi became disillusioned with Mouvement lavallois and left the party. He later ran unsuccessfully for city council on Jean-Claude Gobé’s Action Laval slate. Demers and de Cotis were subsequent elected mayor and chairman of the city’s executive committee.
Migliozzi told The Suburban in an interview that Demers and de Cotis, who campaigned against their erstwhile ally during the municipal election campaign, asked him to withdraw from the legal action in the Place Bell file. He added that he formally tried to back out from the case the moment he left Mouvement lavallois over a number of moral issues, but that the defendant wouldn’t agree to letting just one of the three petitioners pull out.
At the time, though, Demers and de Cotis were unprepared to abandon their party in the Place Bell file.
“Given everything that had happened in Laval with [former mayors] Vaillancourt and Duplessis, I was sure that the project would not go forward, so I let it go,” Migliozzi recalled. “So I was really surprised when, a few months later, we received a letter from Evenko, asking to depose all three of us. I was asked to voice my concerns, mainly about the reimbursement of taxes by the city to Evenko. When I discussed the matter with Evenko, I sensed an openness on their part [to permitting me to withdraw].”
“I wanted to give [Demers and de Cotis] room to do the right thing, as they had promised,” he continued. “[Now that they represent the city, they can’t be on both sides at the [lawsuit] at the same time, so I agreed to withdraw so as not to put them in conflict of interest.”
Migliozzi nonetheless vowed to remain on Laval’s political scene, and signalled that he will continue to keep a close eye to the Place Bell file.
“Pulling out of the case was merely a constructive gesture in the interest of all Laval citizens,” he concluded.
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