Pierre Bouchard, a regular at City Council meetings, received a letter from the City of Sherbrooke urging him to show more respect during the question period of the citizens.
M . Bouchard attended the February 19 council meeting. As a preamble, he quickly went to the chair of the board, Nicole Bergeron. “I must say that I recognize, Madam President, your smallness in terms of presidency or ethics. You name me last. Do not be worried, I will not ask any questions about your personal or professional decisions about Pro-Management, about the Entrepreneurship House. ”
Mr. Bouchard was the last citizen to be called to speak to elected officials. He says he was the first to register before the session.
” Be careful. If you want to accuse me or insinuate anything … “began Nicole Bergeron before being interrupted by Pierre Bouchard.
“That’s what I do,” he said.
“You will do it, but not in this instance. There are other instances where you can do it, “added the elected.
In the letter forwarded by the City and signed by the Director General Yves Vermette, it reads: “On February 19th … […] I was personally witness of your actions that I would describe disturbing. During question period, you attacked the board chair directly by hurtful and disrespectful words and insinuated that she did not perform her duties properly and that she was unethical. ”
Mr. Vermette noted that Pierre Bouchard’s remarks contravened the rules of decorum and the regulations of the City of Sherbrooke concerning the question period. He reminds her that the time given to citizens is used to ask questions and does not exist “in order to allow you to engage in aggressive and endless pleas against the municipal administration, elected officials or anyone”.
Yves Vermette mentioned that the City “will not accept any misconduct on your part and will not hesitate to undertake all the appropriate procedures, if any”. Consequently, in the event of a repeat offense, Mr. Bouchard could be expelled from the boardroom. Access to City Hall could even be banned for up to a year.
Mr. Vermette explains that it is to him, as the highest official, the right to deny a citizen access to municipal buildings. “Before we do that, we remind him of the rules. We have already explained that we give precedence to citizens who do not often come to question period. It is a democratic choice made by the presidency. Mr. Bouchard complained in an aggressive and disrespectful manner. He blames the president, it seems. Many elected officials were not comfortable and wanted us to intervene. You can disagree, but there is a way to do it. ”
Mr. Bouchard responded in writing to the City’s letter. “I categorically refute your argument. […] Rights of higher authority guarantee freedom of expression and protect us from abusive threats like yours. ”
” I expect an apology from you or the true legal authorities of the City of Sherbrooke, “he writes. “Never is my intervention intentional (sic) deliberately disrespectful. If Madam perceived it that way, I am sorry. ”
Called to comment on the situation, Pierre Bouchard admits to questioning the independence of the chair of the board. “I can agree that I may have gone too hard. If I go back to City Hall, I’ll probably change my attitude, my vocabulary. If I understand correctly, you must not be too direct. ”