Calumet resignations : “I was accused of stealing, lying, and was yelled at” – ex-mayor Irène Nadeau

0
48

François Carrier
(tr. AB)

ILE-DU-GRAND-CALUMET – On June 8, the mayor of Ile-du-Grand-Calumet, Irene Nadeau, submitted her resignation.
A few weeks later, Jacques Mantha, Director General since 1988, also left office, which “sparked curiosity”. Nadeau agreed to be

François Carrier
(tr. AB)

ILE-DU-GRAND-CALUMET – On June 8, the mayor of Ile-du-Grand-Calumet, Irene Nadeau, submitted her resignation.
A few weeks later, Jacques Mantha, Director General since 1988, also left office, which “sparked curiosity”. Nadeau agreed to be
interviewed, following her resignation. “As I wrote in my resignation letter, I will always thank the people of the municipality for electing me. I learned a lot, but now
I want to move on,” she told the Journal. 
“But I still wake up with this, and I go to bed every night thinking of what
happened,” said Nadeau, visibly upset. 
“It was impossible for me to continue being the primary person responsible for the municipality after discovering the ongoing poor management and administration. Having a backlog of unpaid taxes since 2001 for some citizens, amounting to over $99,000 plus interest, is inconceivable”,  wrote Nadeau in her resignation.
The number of unpaid tax accounts appears to be only one of the reasons behind Nadeau’s decision. She claimed she received no support from members of her council, except from pro-mayor Jean-Louis Corriveau. 
“I was accused of being a thief and a liar and was yelled at several times by a councillor and by the director. (I felt) that I was a victim of the hatred of some people,” she told the Journal.
Nadeau was upset by the state of the administration. “There was no file for resolutions; documents were missing; there were no work plans, etc.” It was when Nadeau saw a list of properties for sale for outstanding taxes in other municipalities that she began asking questions. “I wanted to know where we were at, but I had opened Pandora’s box.” 
“The conflict with the general director escalated over the unpaid tax bills. When I confronted him, he shouted at me and showed great disrespect,” said Nadeau. Following the altercation, she said she turned to her council for support, but received none.
“It was hard to work without support and with the hatred I felt from council members (except the pro-mayor) right from the beginning of my mandate,” she said in her resignation letter.
Nadeau said she never felt accepted: “Not being from the island surely
didn’t help me,” she said. But she does not understand the disinterest shown by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs who, Nadeau says, would not act. “They didn’t want to get involved!” said Nadeau, who believes changes are needed within the municipality’s government. “Directors can do a lot within a municipality, and so we are probably not alone. I believe the municipality is due for a change to its council,” she added.
However, pro-mayor Jean-Louis Corriveau says the atmosphere within council is currently good and he is reflecting on whether to run for mayor.
“My goal was to make the island more accessible to tourists and I believe this is something that needs to be done,” concluded Nadeau, who said she wants to attend the next council meeting, this time as a private
citizen.