The mayor of Saguenay stays his course despite the tense atmosphere at Saguenay city hall.
Julie Dufour has already made it known that she will run for a second term as councilor in two years. “I can tell you today that I am going to ask for another mandate, that is clear! People will judge,” she said with conviction at the press meeting.
The mayor still feels like he’s been walking through a minefield for several weeks: “There’s nothing you haven’t heard from me in the last two weeks. Nothing… I’m telling you, nothing!
Ms. Dufour is the subject of complaints to the Municipal Commission for her alleged role in the dismissal of the former director general of the Société de transport de Saguenay (STS), Jean-Luc Roberge.
Councilor Jean-Marc Crevier and former mayoral candidate Serge Simard also accuse him of having offered them positions in the municipal administration in exchange for withdrawing their candidacy for mayor in 2021.
“They are rumors and conversations,” he summarized. “It is not because there is a complaint that this complaint is admissible and that there will even be an investigation.”
In its Thursday edition, Le Quotidien reported that businessmen supported by former municipal officials would mobilize for her to resign while investigations were carried out.
“There are no names associated with these rumors. “I will be happy to talk to these people,” the mayor reacted.
“I’m not at all moved by everything that’s happening, but it’s detrimental to the city,” he added. “We make people laugh at us. People don’t understand what is happening. They even asked me when I would be arrested. But what are you talking to me about?
“I heard rumors about my private life,” Ms. Dufour also mentioned.
The Saguenay-Le Fjord Chamber of Commerce and Industry does not approve of this mobilization of businessmen.
“The mayor was democratically elected,” recalled the organization’s general director, Sandra Rossignol.
“You can’t ask someone to leave because you’re dissatisfied. “We will certainly support the mayor in her efforts to remain in office!”
Another rumor circulating
According to the radio station Kyk 95.7 FM, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and representative for Chicoutimi, Andrée Laforest, confided to businessmen and family members her interest in the Saguenay city council in 2025.
In principle, her mandate in Quebec ends in 2026. “I am in Municipal Affairs and everything is going very well!” Ms. Laforest told the National Assembly this Thursday morning.
“I never thought about that, but it’s flattering!” he responded to a question from journalist Alain Laforest.
In the very short term, the mayor wants to mobilize the municipal council around the development of the city.
“Instead of tearing each other down and looking for blame in the name of who knows what, can we work on the development of our city and tell each other that we believe in our city and our region?” mentioned Julie Dufour.
The mayor still has several months to change voters’ perception of her.