Applebaum appoints rare coalition cabinet to run Montreal
Published Thursday, November 22, 2012 12:25PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 22, 2012 8:29PM EST
MONTREAL—Mayor Michael Applebaum unveiled a rare coalition cabinet on Thursday, with a number of independent councillors and representatives from all of Montreal’s municipal parties joining the 12-member executive committee.
It’s an executive committee with an old motto, Concordia Salus—Salvation through harmony—and Applebaum says that every member of the cabinet has agreed not to run for mayor in 2013.
“They accepted the idea of having an independent mayor to unite the different parties and different opinions so we can all focus on one priority: Montreal citizens,” said Applebaum, who was elected to finish Mayor Gerald Tremblay’s final year in office last Friday.
His coalition includes three members of Union Montreal, three from Vision Montreal, two from Projet Montreal and three independents.
Applebaum will lead the 12-member committee, and retain control of finances, human resources and legal affairs.
“I truly honestly believe that we are working towards a new way of dealing with Montreal’s municipal politics,” said Mary Deros, a member of the new committee.
While two of the city’s opposition leaders are absent—due to the pledge to not run for mayor, Richard Bergeron of Projet Montreal was pleased with the selection.
“It needs to work because we need to regain the confidence of the population,” said Bergeron. “We have no choice but to win.”
The leader of Union Montreal, Richard Deschamps, saw his party decimated by defections in a week, reduced from majority status to a rump.
“We have a new challenge a new dynamic in front of us, we are going to try and collaborate and serve Montreal,” said Deschamps, who was expected to become mayor before Applebaum helped orchestrate the destruction of the party he used to serve as No. 2.
With his cabinet in place, Applebaum said his first priority is passing a budget with smaller tax increases. He called Thursday’s appointments the start of Montreal’s 100 days of renewal.
The members of the executive committee are:
- Michael Applebaum (Ind.) Mayor, finance, human resources, legal affairs and international relations
- Laurent Blanchard (Ind.) President of the executive committee, infrastructure, real estate, I.T. and media relations
- Benoit Dorais (Vision Montreal) VP of the executive committee, social housing and large projects
- Emilie Thuillier (Projet Montreal) VP of the executive committee, social and community development, youth, women and seniors
- Richard Deschamps (Union Montreal) Sports and leisure
- Mary Deros (Union Montreal) Ethnic communities
- Michel Bissonnet (Union Montreal) Government relations, living spaces and 375th anniversary celebrations
- Real Menard (Vision Montreal) Transportation
- Elaine Ayotte (Vision Montreal) Culture, heritage and design
- Josee Duplessis (Projet Montreal) Sustainable development, environment and parks
- Alain Tasse (Ind.) Economic development and urban planning
- Christian G. Dubois (Ind.) Public security, citizen services
In addition to the Executive Committee, Applebaum appointed six councillors as deputies. They are:
- Etienne Brunet (Vision Montreal) Social housing and large projects
- Caroline Bourgeois (Vision Montreal) Social and community development, family and seniors
- Richard Belanger (Union Montreal) Sustainable development, environment and parks
- Aref Salem (Union Montreal) Culture, heritage and design
- Erika Duchesne (Projet Montreal) Sports and leisure
- Ginette Marotte (Ind.) Citizen services and international culture