Friday, at meBureau of Investigation reporter Richard Olivier told us that nearly 750 elected municipal officials had left their positions since the last elections in 2021.
“A number never seen in history,” said Daniel Côté, mayor of Gaspé and president of the Union of Quebec Municipalities.
The main reasons for this wave of resignations?
Intimidation, harassment and verbal and physical violence against mayors.
“The harassment is reaching levels we have never seen before,” Bruno Côté, mayor of Potton, told Estrie.
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Small consolation: the phenomenon does not only affect Quebec.
In France it also falls like flies.
Since 2020, 1,300 mayors have resigned and almost 70% of them claim to have been victims of verbal and physical violence.
The climate is such that on July 3 the mayors of France were invited to gather the inhabitants of their town in front of their town hall to demand a return to civil peace.
“We refuse to passively watch town halls burn down,” wrote the Association of French Mayors. Mayors are threatened, insulted or beaten, municipal buildings are looted and libraries and schools are destroyed.”
“It is the heart of our democracy that we are attacking.”
In order to better help mayors, this association has even launched an Observatory of Attacks on Elected Officials!
In short, running a city or town has become a dangerous profession on both sides of the Atlantic…
What do you want, not only are the mayors on the front line, but they are easily accessible.
When we have a problem, they are the ones we go to see.
And when we’re frustrated, they’re the ones we call on.
They are like the umpires in a softball game.
“Hello, Jean-Guy, tabarnac, are you blind? It was a catch, not a ball!”
The great equalizer
Every municipality has its cracks.
The hysterical guy who freaks out because the city won’t let him put up a 20-foot-tall frost fence to keep the neighbor’s dog from falling onto his property.
These fools are known throughout the town, and they monopolize the microphone in every town hall.
But for some time, the tone has risen.
The crinqués are no longer satisfied with shouting into the microphone, they harass mayors and councilors when they are in front of the grocery store.
In fact, these fools threaten everyone who seems to enjoy even a modicum of authority: teachers, journalists, elected officials, stars.
With social networks there is no hierarchy anymore, everyone is on equal footing.
Joe Blow, who was content to yell at everyone in the tavern, now has a platform and a following! And his crap theories have as much resonance as the analyzes of the greatest specialists.
This is democracy now.
You can make everyone angry.
No wonder we are short of teachers, police, referees and mayors!
Who wants to represent authority in this context?