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Monique Côté, president of the Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal (SFMM, CUPE-FTQ), believes that Bill 109 (the Municipal Ethics and Good Conduct Act) cannot be the only measure for addressing the multiple problems of collusion, malfeasance and cronyism, and the many scandals that have tarnished Montreal and other cities.

“You don’t prescribe medicine without a diagnosis,” said Côté. 

On September 7, in Quebec City, she addressed the parliamentary committee studying Bill 109. “If the Charest government really wants to restore public confidence, it should launch a public inquiry to get to the bottom of the situation. In our opinion, such an inquiry would demonstrate the need to review party financing, to limit and regulate outsourcing to the private sector, and to strengthen the municipal public and parapublic service, among other things.”

As far as Bill 109 goes, Monique Côté noted, “It is not enough to give our elected officials tools; we also need to take actions that will change the context or the environment in which they are expected to work. This bill is just a small step in the right direction.”

CUPE represents about 70 per cent of all municipal employees in Quebec.