The former mayor of Quebec, Régis Labeaume, was honored Thursday for his entire political career, a recognition that particularly touched him.
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“There is no finer honor coming from those who know the job,” said Mr. Labeaume, who gave a short speech to some 1,500 delegates gathered in Quebec for the Assises de l’ Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ).
The body, made up of elected municipal officials, appointed him honorary member 2022, a few months after his retirement from municipal politics, in which he was immersed for 14 years.
The ex-mayor received praise from his successor, Bruno Marchand, who hailed his “lasting and unwavering commitment, despite the cost to himself and to the body”. He also underlined how much Mr. Labeaume had been a “beacon” in the more difficult times of the tragedies experienced recently in Quebec.
The mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, for her part recalled that Régis Labeaume was a “political bug”, but also a “mayor with great ambitions for his city and who did things with his heart”.
He was “the architect of several major projects” and “devoted himself to his community”, for his part supported the president of the UMQ, Daniel Côté, mayor of Gaspé. “His vision changed the face of Quebec City by giving it new impetus.” Looking back on his 14 years in politics, which were “the best” at the professional level, Mr. Labeaume said he was proud to have been able to achieve his “vision” for the city and to be out of politics “white as snow”.
As a message to elected officials who are still active, he warned that the municipal autonomy fiercely defended by the Cities has not been achieved and that the “battle continues”. And according to him, the authority to carry out this fight is the UMQ. “UMQ has done great things. It will go through the UMQ if you want to change things.