Westmount, 3 April 2017 – The mayor of Westmount, Peter F. Trent announced today that he will shortly be stepping down from public office. He was first elected mayor in 1991. “It’s time for the next generation to take over the mayoralty,” he said. His decision will allow for a smooth transition period for Westmount City Council and will avoid his being cast in a “lame duck” role during the six months leading up to the November general election.
Mayor Trent has served more than twice as long as any Westmount mayor in history. He served five terms as mayor, always being elected without opposition. “I want to leave while still at the top of my game. A run at it in November would mean seeking a sixth term. That’s just too long,” said Mayor Trent.
He leaves the City of Westmount in superb shape. For the first time in living memory, the City of Westmount has no net debt, its yearly infrastructure investment is now double its historical level, and, once inflation and increased infrastructure are taken into account, the average tax bill is the same as it was in 2009.
Mayor Trent was the driving force behind the Westmount Recreation Centre, completed in 2013. This award-winning facility houses the world’s first underground rinks – an idea Mayor Trent came up with.
But it is his 1999-2004 fight against municipal mergers and for demergers that constitutes Mayor Trent’s finest achievement.
“If it weren’t for Peter Trent, all 14 independent Cities on the Island of Montreal – including Westmount – would still be part of the City of Montreal,” said Westmount Councillor Victor M. Drury. Mayor Trent’s coup in forcing the Quebec Liberal Party to commit to demergers during the 2003 election campaign – and winning them 20 seats because of it – is described in his book, The Merger Delusion. His book was a finalist for the best Canadian political book of 2012.
It is expected that Mayor Trent will step down in the next few weeks, allowing Westmount City Council to elect an interim mayor from among themselves to serve until the November election.
For further information, contact: Anne Renaud, 514-989-5240
Richard Gervais, Wagram Communications: 514-819-1566 or 514-507-1134 ext. 2