By Robert Frank
Laval Technopole is reportedly resisting pressure by Mayor Marc Demers to parachute in David de Cotis to chair the board of directors of the economic development powerhouse. De Cotis is founder of Demers’ Mouvement lavallois political party.
As The Suburban reported Dec. 11, former ceo Pierre Desroches’ contract was not to be renewed when it ended, Dec. 31. During the past six years that Desroches ran Laval Technopole, Quebec’s third-largest city has boomed, attracting a parade of head offices to set up here, not to mention some $9 billion in direct investment.
The non-profit corporation has helped to keep Laval’s economy going strong, despite the economic stagnation and setback that has gripped the rest of Quebec.
Nonetheless, Laval Technopole gets some 70 per cent of its budget from the city, which, according to La Presse, wanted to place de Cotis at the helm during its board of directors meeting last month.
The newly elected vice-chairman of the city’s powerful executive committee evidently expected to be elected chairman of Laval Technopole during that meeting, but was rebuffed by the other directors, who reportedly are seeking a legal opinion in order to clarify who’s in charge.
With no clear successor in sight to take charge at Laval Technopole, Mayor Marc Demers, who campaigned on a law and order platform, has not yet commented on whether the debacle will take some of the steam out of Laval’s hitherto robust economic engine.
In the meantime, de Cotis’ apparently remains out in the cold. His name does not appear on Quebec government documents dated Jan 5, 2014, which still showed Desroches serving as the corporation’s ceo. According to the file, the last time there was a change in management was Sept. 24, 2013.
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