Opposition responds to Galati defection

By Robert Frank

Laval’s opposition leader has questioned Paolo Galati’s account of why he left the Action Laval municipal political party.

When Galati announced during an Aug. 8 news conference that he had defected to Mayor Marc Demers’ ruling Mouvement lavallois party, he suggested to reporters that his ouster might have been over Action Laval spending.

“Perhaps the [Action Laval] team was not always in agreement about how tight a rein I kept on the budget,” speculated the St. Vincent de Paul city councillor and former leader of the opposition caucus of elected officials at city council.

“That is not correct,” opposition leader Aglaïa Revelakis told The Suburban in a subsequent interview. “I’m the one who was always trying to keep a tight [lid on the] budget within the opposition so that we don’t spend taxpayers money unnecessarily.”

Revelakis was vacationing in Greece when Galati defected and was unavailable for comment until she returned to Canada last week.

“The reason why [Galati] was put aside by [Jean-Claude] Gobé was because he was spending too much money because he thought that because he had the position of designated signing authority he was allowed to do anything he wanted in office,” she contended.

“That’s why Mr. Gobé decided to take him down as designated signing authority and appoint me to take charge of the opposition and the budget,” concluded Revelakis, who represents Chomedey district and took over from Galati to lead the opposition caucus, July 10. “[Galati] was the one who was overspending and not respecting taxpayers’ money.”

A member of Mayor Demers’ staff told The Suburban that he preferred the high road and declined to engage in countering the accusations.

“It takes two to tango, and we don’t want to dance that dance,” Robert-Charles Longpré said in an interview.

He added that the Mouvement lavallois party instead wants to be judged by its actions in governing the city.

“We prefer to be constructive,” he said. “We were elected to change things and we walk the talk.”

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