The fall of the governance

L’automne de la gouvernance

ANALYSIS / Before going on vacation, at the beginning of the summer, the mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin appreciated the working atmosphere, more sound, that seemed to want to settle around the council table for a few months. It highlighted the contribution of Gilles Carpentier and the important role played by the latter in the chair of the executive committee. The summer is finished. Autumn is here, and winter is coming.

Gilles Carpentier, who was one of the centerpieces of the mayor for the establishment of its ” new governance “, is no longer chairman of the executive committee. He surprised everyone back from vacation on leaving, for reasons that remain unclear, all of its functions to return to single councillor. It has still not been replaced and the pressure that the mayor be adopted by the council the new rules that will govern the political sparring in Gatineau has turned up a notch, this week. The mayor will play everything in that folder during a closed retreat with elected officials, on 22 and 23 November next.

The new governance must clarify the functioning and the role of the municipal committees. The chairs of these bodies must receive a letter of mandate specifying the objectives to be achieved. The question of the camera, the use of committees in plenary, the ” work sessions “, the role of the administration in the efforts of communication and the power of the executive committee are only a few examples of what the mayor wants to mess with.

The key to the effectiveness

For Mr. Pedneaud-Jobin, the new governance is the key to a more efficient working, but the period of transition between the old model and the new stretches of the past year. Elected officials are getting impatient and decry the slowness with which certain important files come up on the board. The number of presentations in committee of the whole is on the decline for months. Conversely, the “work sessions” closed to the public are on the increase.

The mandate letters are always waiting, and after one year of mandate, the commissions do not always play the role intended for them. Apart from the commission Gatineau, ville en santé”, which led to the construction of the framing of the consumption of cannabis in public places, and the commission on the environment that has toiled in the implementation of the new Plan of waste management (PGMR), nothing has really emanated from these bodies. Files as the free game in the street, and the future of the outdoor pools are still treated behind closed doors in Gatineau. This is also the case for all folders of an economic nature.

The mayor more selective

The mayor Pedneaud-Jobin has not hidden, in the beginning of the mandate, wanting to be less present in the media. He was given a taste from the study of the budget, last November, dodging reporters until the end of the work. He has since continued in the same vein by being more selective in its availability in the media that in his first term. And when it comes to the media, it is now spreading most rapidly are the questions to which he does not wish to answer. “We will communicate when we will be ready to communicate” is a ready-made formula that he does not hesitate to use it when he deems that the context for discussion of a case is not the good.

Less than a month of study of the second budget, often the more determinant for the result of a mandate in municipal politics, many of the question marks on issues critical to Gatineau remain. The week that just passed demonstrates that the shortage of skilled labour and the delivery of infrastructure projects will be obviously at the heart of the concerns of the elected officials.

In the past year, under the new governance is to come, the budget proposal had been prepared and defended unanimously by the executive committee. Is this will again be the case this time ? The new work atmosphere positive to the board, as noted by the mayor prior to the holiday will survive-t-it for a long time if the executive committee, bereft of an influential independent, continues to withhold too much information to the taste of some of the independent candidates ?

The summer is finished. Autumn is here and winter is coming. The coming months will be crucial.


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