Dominique Ollivier resigns as president of Montreal’s Executive Committee, Luc Rabouin named successor

“Too much respect for the work of my colleagues,” said Dominique Ollivier, former chair of Montreal's executive committee, about why she resigned from her post after a spending controversy.

The president of Montreal’s Executive Committee Dominique Ollivier resigned on Monday afternoon amid allegations of controversial spending of public money when she was the president of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM).

“For the past 10 days I have been faced with a situation that has prevented me from fully carrying out the responsibilities and the mandate that were entrusted to me by Mrs. Plante,” said Ollivier.

Before becoming chairperson of Montreal’s executive committee – Ollivier was president of the OCPM from 2014 to 2019. Reporting by TVA Nouvelles unveiled questionable expenses by the OCPM under Ollivier’s watch including trips and a $347 oyster diner for an employee’s birthday.

“I have way too much respect for the work of my colleagues, for the work of the civil servants of the city of Montreal, for the leadership of Mrs. Plante, for the people of Montreal in general to allow the recent controversy to undermine the public’s confidence in all the work that is currently being done and that still has to be done to make the right choices,” explained Ollivier, adding, “I have therefore announced to Mrs. Plante my intention to step down as president and member of the executive committee effective immediately.”

“The bottom line is that the conditions were no longer there to allow her to carry out her duties. Our position and the institution we represent need to be protected, they must be protected,” said Valérie Plante, mayor of Montreal.

At a press conference on Monday afternoon Ollivier said she has been put in a situation where she is no longer in a position to fully complete her mandate because she has received several messages of support, but mostly violent messages of racism and misogyny.

Adding that in the context of the important commitments ahead, she has too much respect for her colleagues and the Montreal population to allow the recent controversy to undermine the public’s confidence in all of the work that is being done.

“It’s important for me that the future of the city continues in serenity,” Ollivier said.

She is stepping down effective immediately in her role as president and member of Montreal’s Executive Committee.

Valérie Plante at press conference addressing Dominique Ollivier's resignation, November 13, 2023
Montreal mayor Valérie Plante addressing Dominique Ollivier’s resignation, November 13, 2023 (Photo: Martin Daigle/CityNews)

Mayor Valérie Plante announced Monday afternoon borough Mayor of Plateau-Mont-Royal, Luc Rabouin, will become the interim chair of Montreal’s Executive Committee.

Ollivier will continue as city councilor in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie.

“In the hope of shedding some light on the matter, I have also asked CAFA ( the Commission sur les finances et l’administration) to meet with me on Friday morning so that I can testify to the various management choices I made when I was at the head of OCPM,” she added, saying that she would subsequently be available to answer questions from the media.

The Plante administration had also ordered Montreal’s auditor general to investigate the practices of the OCPM under Ollivier’s presidency and the current president Isabelle Beaulieu. The report found the same kind of spending under Beaulieu’s watch. Ollivier has said she will fully cooperate in that investigation.

Last week, before the start of an Executive Committee meeting, Ollivier said she regretted some of the expenses.

“It’s not because expenses are legal, permitted, that they’re acceptable, and I regret particularly that certain expenses affected the population’s sense of confidence. I’m the first to say that things need to change at the OCPM,” Ollivier said in a statement before the meeting began last week.

Ensemble Montreal, the official opposition at city hall, had also called for Ollivier’s resignation.

“Ensemble Montréal has been calling for Dominique Ollivier to step down as president of the executive committee for the past week. There is unanimous agreement among the population that she no longer has the credibility to hold this position, which implies having the confidence of the citizens. The decision to resign was the right one to take,” Aref Salem, the leader of Ensemble Montréal said on Monday afternoon.

The official opposition party is also calling on the current heads of the OCPM to resign.

Mayor Plante stood by Ollivier reiterating her confidence in her last week.

Ollivier stepping down comes just two days before she was set to present the City of Montreal budget on Wednesday.

“You can rest assured that the city will continue to run smoothly. As mayor, my priority is to deliver a responsible budget on Wednesday,” said Plante.

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