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Meet your mayoral candidates

Election day in Montreal is just around the corner, with the McGill-hosted English language mayoral debate on Oct. 22. and the mayoral election date set for Nov. 3. Although there are 12 candidates in total, the Tribune offers profiles of a few of the frontrunners, their backgrounds, and their platforms, to give you a better understanding of the people you can vote for when you show up at the polls.

Can I vote?

You are eligible to vote in the municipal election if you fulfill the following criteria:

1. You are 18 years old or older before or on the day of Election Day on Sunday, Nov. 3

2. You are a Canadian citizen, and have been a resident of Quebec since March 1, 2013

3. You have been a resident of Montreal since Sept. 1, 2013


Denis Coderre

Founder of the Équipe Denis Coderre pour Montréal, Coderre was a Member of Parliament (MP) under the Liberal Party for six terms, from 1997 to 2013, representing the Montreal riding of Bourassa.

Under the Jean Chrétien administration, Coderre was appointed Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, and established the World Anti-Doping Agency based in Montreal, which aims to promote, coordinate, and monitor the fight against doping drugs in sports and has been adopted by more than 600 sports organizations worldwide.

Under Prime Minister Paul Martin, Coderre was appointed Minister of Immigration, where he oversaw the implementation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in 2002, which outlines the guidelines for foreign residents immigrating to Canada. In 2009, he became the Quebec Lieutenant under the Liberal Party—acting as an adviser and spokesperson on issues directly related to Quebec.

Platform highlights:

>> Create an inspector general position to oversee the investigation and punishment of municipal officials to combat corruption

>> Increase  public transportation (expand the metro, create 50 kilometers of cycling paths, and extend reserved bus roads)

>> Implement an intelligent transport system designed to make transport more accessible, cleaner, and less carbon intensive

>> Develop, strengthen, and retain the culture of Montreal neighbourhoods, through means such as the appointment of an Economic Development Commissioner to enhance culture and the development of the entertainment district, Quartier des Spectacles.


Richard Bergeron

Mayoral candidate of the Projet Montreal party, Bergeron is currently a city councillor representing the Jeanne-Mance district of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough.  In this position, Bergeron has been proactive in preserving city green spaces, developing transportation in ways such as furthering a plan to build a tramway, and improving snow removal. In 2000, Bergeron became head of strategic analysis for l’Agence métropolitaine de transport, or the Metropolitan Transport Agency (AMT). He was former president of the real-estate union Fédération des cooperatives d’habitation de l’ile de Montreal. The union’s goal is to provide the housing cooperative with services such as education and management services, political representation, and development and support services for cooperative entrepreneurship.

Platform highlights:

>> Implement sustainable transportation (expand three of the existing metro lines, expand bike paths, increase the number of pedestrian-only streets, reduce vehicle traffic by adding bridge tolls, and reduce the number of parking spots)

>> Renew democracy and fight corruption

>> Improve housing

>> Develop Montreal’s economic prosperity

>> Improve quality of life and culture through projects such as increasing green spaces and river access, and capitalizing on Montreal’s francophone and cosmopolitan nature


Michel Brûlé

Brûlé is well known in the Quebec media world as a publisher, author, and singer, and is the leader of the Intégrité  Montréal. He has founded several publishing companies, including Éditions les Intouchables, which focuses on the publication of children’s books. He is the second largest publisher in Quebec in terms of sales, and has also written articles for many Quebec newspapers, including La Presse, Journal de Montréal, and Métro.

Considered a sovereigntist, Brûlé has stated that he does not anticipate receiving many votes from Montreal’s English-speaking population. He has also made a series of controversial statements, including “English is not a beautiful language,” as well as calling Americans “uncultured imbeciles.” In 2009, Brûlé released a book titled Anglaid, which describes the imperialism and ethnocentrism of the English world’s culture.

Platform highlights:

>> Reduce the number of elected municipal officials from 103 to 31

>> Increase focus on art and culture in public places

>> Establish free public transit for the elderly and parents with young children


Marcel Côté

A career economist and politician, Côté heads the Coalition Montréal. He was a founding partner of SECOR, a strategic management consulting firm, where he worked until it was acquired in 2012 by KPMG, one of the world’s largest professional services companies. Côté currently sits on the Board of Directors for Osisko Mining, and has previously sat on the Boards of ING Bank of Canada and Intact Financial. He also chaired the board of directors for the Montreal YMCA, and was on the board of directors for the Foundations of the YMCA of Quebec. Additionally,  Côté held the position of economic adviser for Premier Robert Bourassa from 1986 to 1988.

Platform highlights:

>> Construct 2,000 new houses and condos plus 15,000 social housing units over the next five years to keep young families in the city

>> Increase the amount of green spaces

>> Fight corruption by hiring an ethics commissioner and simplifying the City charter, ensuring open public governance by allowing party members to vote freely rather than enforce party discipline, and promoting civic innovation

>> Appoint an internal committee to deal directly with construction firms charged with collusion

>> Freeze house taxes to the level of inflation

>> Improve public transit; not by building new projects but by investing in maintaining what currently exists

>> Reconfigure the city’s executive committee structure and decision-making process


Mélanie Joly

At only 34 years old, Joly is by far the youngest of the mayoral candidates and the leader of the le Vrai changement pour Montréal. She received her law degree at Université de Montréal and received her master’s degree in European Law at the Oxford University. From 2000 to 2009, Joly worked at two Montreal law firms, Stikeman Elliott and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, practicing primarily in commercial, civil,  and administrative law. From 2009 to 2013, Joly worked as associate director of the Montreal office of the international communications agency Cohn &  Wolfe.  During the Liberal Party Leadership election, Joly was the Trudeau campaign’s chief-organizer for Quebec.

Platform highlights:

>> Create 130 km of rapid bus service

>> Establish Transparency by making all political decisions, official documents, and infrastructure contracts accessible to the public for free online

>> Add new green spaces throughout the city

>> Develop low-cost housing to allow 30,000 families to affordably move into the city

>> Increase city and commercial arteries to improve the city’s ambiance and strengthen the city’s economy (extend store hours, make Saint Catherine Street a pedestrian-only street, and improve cooperation between nightlife and the community)

>> Fight social exclusion and isolation, particularly for Montreal’s homeless population

>> Improve and simplify operations for businesses

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