June 3, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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The tramway’s opponents experts were beaten in court

The tramway's opponents experts were beaten in court

Bias, lack of rigor, militancy, irrelevance, partisanship: Opponents of the tramway were slammed Wednesday by experts who testified in court.

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It was Quebec City prosecutors’ turn to argue in court on the third day of the trial on the legality of the tramway project.

Attorney Kathy Levesque returned to the testimony and reports of experts Fanny Tremblay-Rassicot, Clement Gosselin and Denis Poussart.

Earlier in the day, Quebec lawyer Guy Bertrand insisted that the defendant’s lawyers had not cross-examined the experts and, as a result, they were “not contradicted.”

Me Levesque reframed: If the city and government choose not to produce a second opinion, she said, because expert opinions are “not up for discussion.”

Request for Removal

She dissected the work of each of the experts, asking Judge Clement Samson to deem their expertise “completely worthless” and reject them.

She pointed out that Fanny Tremblay-Rassicot used “exaggerations and less subtle words”, “actively participated in the public debate on the tramway” and “spoke during civil meetings against the tramway organized by the plaintiff”.

Moreover, M adds.e According to Levesque, “accepting unproven facts as a result of conspiracies insults the conclusions and his quality as an expert”.

Ms Tremblay-Rassicot is referring here to a “secret deal which, for her, will destroy the whole process”. However, the exact words used by the expert in her report were: “a political agreement between the mayor of Quebec and the prime minister of Quebec at the time”.

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Clément Gosselin and Denis Poussart cite “no evidence, except biased sources,” providing little precision, which the lawyer says shows “take for cash” and “a total lack of rigor.”

According to her, it should be remembered that these experts did not prove that the decision to take the tram was unreasonable. At best, they demonstrate that if they had been in a position to make the decision, they would not have chosen this mode.

“The reasonableness of decisions is a spectrum containing many possible outcomes.”

Strict rules

The prosecutor emphasized the virulence of the words used by the opponents over two days.

“In the last days, I have heard of a human disaster, of a life-destructive project, of a hellish, corrupt, unhealthy project. I forget what project we are talking about. This is not some dirty nuclear power plant project on the plains. It is an electric public transport project for the population of Quebec.

According to the city, she identified other elements in the evidence that were not considered admissible. For example, insults, conspiracy theories, hearsay. “I want to highlight the use of statements, obviously exaggerated comments, degrading figures of defamatory speech. They have no place in a democratic debate and even less in a court of law.

She cites terms such as “rapists”, “bad seed”, “totalitarian”, “pro-tram jihadist” that appear in opponents’ affidavits.

“Offensive qualifiers and value judgments do not include the facts in the debate against us.”

In addition, the City of Quebec described all the steps, consultations and studies undertaken since 2010, starting with the Sustainable Mobility Plan, to arrive at the tramway project.

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