Arnaud de la Salle
Arnaud de la Salle
FORT-COULONGE – Following the awarding of the garbage and recycling collection contract to a company from outside the area, the community’s reaction included numerous allegations against the administration of the Village of Fort-Coulonge. The Journal took part in an interview with Raymond Durocher, Mayor of Fort-Coulonge, at the CHIP FM radio station, where he addressed the issue and answered questions about the allegations.
The majority of the allegations directed at Durocher were made within the community and on social media.
Durocher approached the interview with transparency and answered all questions frankly; the interview was broadcasted on CHIP FM on February 3.
Regarding the allegations that he had a
relationship with the management of the Martin Lalonde company who was awarded the waste management contract, Durocher said it is “the biggest lie that has ever been spread on social media.”
The call to tender for the waste collection
contract was launched
in partnership with
the Municipality of Mansfield, and was granted to the firm Martin Lalonde, from Masham, by the Municipality of Fort-Coulonge because their bid was lower than other companies and they
submitted a complete bid file when the tender was launched last November. The former contract holder, Les Entreprises Charette from Fort-Coulonge, received the community’s support in a petition with over 400
signatures, but according to the Municipality
of Fort-Coulonge, Les Entreprises Charette did not submit a complete bid file and their price was higher than Martin Lalonde. However, they were awarded the Mansfield contract.
Durocher added that if someone has a reliable source for these types
of accusations, they should contact the
UPAC (Permanent Anticorruption Unit), the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, or the legal department of the Fort-Coulonge municipality rather than using social media. He also stressed that council meetings are open to the public, where they can state their opinions on matters debated by the municipality, and that he is shocked so few people attend.
Recently, another round of comments were spread on social media concerning the hiring of
a new employee for
the Fort-Coulonge water treatment centre, stating the municipality favours hiring workers from outside the area. Durocher stressed again that all procedures and regulations were followed to the letter, that hiring was based solely on the skills of the applicants, and unfortunately, the local candidates did not have the skills required for the job.
Concerning rumours that members of council are receiving bribes, Durocher firmly stated he is on the verge of taking legal action against those who started this rumour, especially since it involves statements made against elected officials.
Durocher concluded by asking that all spurious comments be deleted from social media sites by their authors and that the accusations and rumour spreading cease.