“I don’t do threats”: Berthold leaves executive committee after dispute with mayor

“I don’t do threats”: Berthold leaves executive committee after dispute with mayor

By Ruby Pratka

Local Journalism Initiative


Sherbrooke Councillor Danielle Berthold has stepped down from her position as chair of the city executive committee after what she perceived as a threatening phone call from Mayor Évelyne Beaudin.

Berthold said she spoke with Beaudin on the evening of April 8. “I told the mayor I planned to vote against the pool tax, and she said, ‘When we’re on the executive committee, we need to stick together, and if not, there will be consequences.’ I consider that a threat, and I don’t do threats.”

Beaudin confirmed the conversation had taken place. “I told [Berthold] that in life, when you make decisions, it comes with consequences, and when you change sides, there are always consequences,” she told The Record. “When you vote to break the budget, there are consequences.”

The pool tax bylaw – which imposes an $80 per unit of evaluation tax on residential swimming pools – was approved by a single vote at the April 9 council meeting, with Berthold and Councillor Laure Letarte-Lavoie, who briefly attended the meeting with her one-month-old baby in tow despite being on maternity leave, voting in favour.

Berthold explained that she voted for the tax not because her convictions had changed or because she felt threatened by Beaudin, but because the money had already been factored into the budget, which she had voted in favour of. She announced her resignation from the executive committee after the vote. “I voted for the tax even though I explained that it made no sense…There’s no way I’m always going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place and unable to act according to my convictions,” she later said.

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