Dominique Ollivier affair: comfort spending, a heavy ethical calculation

The lavish meals and controversial bills of the Office de Consultation Publique de Montréal (OCPM) symbolize a political class that leads the way when it serves the public interest. Where do we draw the line between acceptable business expenses and personal benefits that are clearly unethical? Expert answers.

After the revelations of Montreal Journal, Some of them, citing in particular bills totaling $18,000 at major Montreal restaurants in three years and travel around the world, have difficulty understanding the leadership style of this organization created to influence public opinion to question local issues.

This is what Kadia Georges Aka, a professor at the Department of Administration at the University of Moncton and an expert in business ethics, remembersOCPM actually developed a code of ethics (New window) to which the commissioners are subject.

He specifically quotes Rule 18: The Commissioners shall respect the law and the Office’s rules of procedure, policies and general guidelines. When making decisions that affect the smooth running of a mandate, they observe the principle of proper management of human, material and financial resources.

It is also this aspect that the President of theOCPM emphasized in its response of November 6 that representation costs should be limited to 1% of the annual budget, a practice that has been in effect for a long time. But actually it is Sound management The aforementioned remnants of variable geometry qualify experts interviewed by Radio-Canada depending on the interpretation we make of them.

“Open bar”

André Lacroix, professor at the Department of Philosophy and Applied Ethics at the University of Sherbrooke, describes an attitude of open bar within a certain percentage of the budget allocated for representation costs. [Plutôt que] To think about each trip in terms of its relevance, we preferred to be willfully blind and create a comfort zone in which we avoided thinking about actionshe analyzed on the show Facts first.

Although approved, the spending is not necessarily acceptable, as shown by the reaction of the Montreal opposition, which called for the resignation of Dominique Ollivier, the party’s presidentOCPM from 2014 to 2021.

You have to distinguish between the ethics of the organization and those of the individual, and this is where the gray area lies.added Kadia Georges Aka.

Since it is the individual who must apply ethical rules, we influence the individual’s values ​​when it comes time to make decisions.

According to his colleague, there aren’t that many individual values which are requested, but Values ​​in situations that determine morale. What values ​​does a manager mobilize to, for example, invite a subordinate to a restaurant?


The Dominique Ollivier affair has acted as a catalyst in recent days. Elected officials, including democratic hygiene advocates, wondered whether this was going too far. Let’s set rules, yes, but that the demand for exemplary behavior is no longer met and goes so far as to demand the resignation of an elected official who has not officially left the regulatory framework?

In accordance with the applicable code of ethics There are clearly defined measures, a gradation of sanctions, but there is no talk of a resignationrecalled Mr. Aka.

The current president, for her partOCPMIsabelle Beaulieu, promised a complete overhaul the process involved in presenting its organization, its rules and its practices. Will this measure be enough?

Basically, the sanction is political in nature, it is no longer even ethical, replies Mr. Lacroix. Questionable behavior occurred […] Can the local government afford to continue this type of survey with one person managing its budget?

Mayor Valérie Plante reiterated on Tuesday that Ms. Ollivier is still the right person to take over the presidency of the executive committee and present the city’s next budget, expected on November 15.

Tyrone Hodgson

Incurable food practitioner. Tv lover. Award-winning social media maven. Internet guru. Travel aficionado.

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