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  • Writer's pictureWest Island News

Three municipal councillors leave the Vaudreuil-Dorion Action Party

At January 16th Vaudreuil-Dorion City Council meeting, Councillors Jasmine Sharma (District 3 - Des Bâtisseurs), Karine Lechasseur (District 4 - De la Seigneurie), and Diane Morin (District 5 - Des Chenaux), announced their decision to resign from the Parti de l'action de Vaudreuil-Dorion, led by Mayor Guy Pilon. They will now sit as independent councillors.

Although the three women have common reasons for their decision, they do not wish, for the time being, to create a coalition or a political party.

They are motivated by their desire to put the citizen at the center of their decisions, not the party's interest. They denounce, among other things, the insistence on following the party line during votes in public meetings, the lack of openness of the leader towards the process of participatory democracy, the lack of respect in exchanges with citizens and elected officials, and even intimidation of councillors who want to ask "too many" questions or express their concerns at public meetings.

Jasmine Sharma came to City Council six years ago with a desire to bring a fresh perspective and a new way of thinking. She was quickly disappointed by the party leader's rigidity and lack of openness. She decided to run again in the last election, however, because she firmly believed that it was necessary to be at the table to change things.

Jasmine Sharma (District 3 - Des Bâtisseurs)

PHOTO: Vaudreuil-Dorion Action Party

Unfortunately, the situation has deteriorated to the point where she no longer recognizes her values in this political party. "Over the past few months, I have expressed my concerns and discomfort to the team about the rigid direction the political party was taking," Jasmine Sharma said. "I have tried to propose constructive solutions to the impasse, but these have been dismissed without offering any options. It became clear to me that I could no longer remain in a party that does not reflect the values and principles I have always defended."

Freshly elected but with a strong political involvement, Karine Lechasseur is disappointed and hurt by the gap between the values of the political party in which she has been involved as a volunteer for more than ten years and the authoritarian climate that reigns around the council table.

Karine Lechasseur (District 4 - De la Seigneurie)

PHOTO: Vaudreuil-Dorion Action Party

"There is no connection between what we campaigned for and the decisions made by City Council," Lechasseur says. "I have tried to address some of the issues that are important to me, but I haven't been able to express my concerns, which are the basis of my political involvement. By sitting as an Independent Councillor, I intend to take my views and share them publicly to move the conversation forward."

The newly elected official motivated to learn admitted that she was stymied when the leader clarified that she had to stay in observation mode without asking too many questions while gaining experience.

The lack of respect observed in some exchanges with community partners, government officials, and citizens was a determining factor in the resignation of the three consultants.

In fact, they denounced situations in which their right to speak or question was limited.

They claim that citizens were cut off cavalierly, and inappropriate comments were even made during meetings that caused deep discomfort.

Diane Morin (District 5 - Des Chenaux)

PHOTO: Vaudreuil-Dorion Action Party

"I was angered by the lack of respect for the right to speak of those present at certain meetings, both in public and in private," explained Diane Morin. "I also denounce the lack of transparency of the chief in the communication with the elected officials, which creates a climate of mistrust and a feeling of manipulation. I am a businesswoman, who chose to get involved in politics to advance her community. For the citizens of my district, I am committed to remaining consistent with the values of our community. Therefore, I will remain open and have the audacity to stand up for them and myself."

Finally, the three councillors would like to reassure their respective constituents that they remain at their service and they will also continue their collaboration with all elected officials and the municipal administration, for which they have deep respect.

SOURCE: Jasmine Sharma, Karine Lechasseur, and Diane Morin.

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