Former Danville mayor, councillors call for inquiry into past finances

Former Danville mayor, councillors call for inquiry into past finances

By Ruby Pratka

Local Journalism Initiative

A former mayor of Danville and two former councillors have launched a petition calling on Minister of Municipal Affairs Andrée Laforest to launch an independent inquiry into the situation that led to the municipality falling three years behind on its financial statements.

“We don’t want to accuse anyone – the inquiry will tell us if anyone on the council or the administration did wrong, including any of us,” former mayor Michel Plourde, who served from 2013-2021, told The Record. Plourde and his former council colleagues Nathalie Boissé and Jean-Guy Dionne launched the petition Jan. 25. “We’re sticking our necks out. People might say, ‘You’re doing it to clear your reputation,’ and in a way, we are, but we want answers too.”

Between 2017 and the departure of the previous city manager in 2021, the city did not file a single annual financial statement according to Plourde. “The mayor has a duty of surveillance [but] the mayor and council cannot do that job [of filing the annual reports],” he explained, citing the Cities and Towns Act, which gives that responsibility to the town’s clerk or treasurer. In addition to the missing annual statements, Plourde alluded to missing interim statements and delayed council meeting minutes. For legal reasons, he is unable to discuss the circumstances of the town manager’s departure, although he said he hoped an inquiry would allow more information to be made public and shed light on whether financial misdeeds were committed.

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