Candidates debate West Island transit, Anglo issues
Published Tuesday, October 22, 2013 10:49PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 23, 2013 8:26AM EDT
MONTREAL -- Melanie Joly continued her attack on frontrunner Denis Coderre Tuesday night as the candidates for mayor debated in English at McGill University.
In the televised debate moderated by CBC’s Andrew Chang, Joly said Coderre’s team is made up of people from the former Gerald Tremblay administration.
“It's not only the roof, but the foundation of Montreal that's leaking and that's culture at city hall,” said the candidate, who is placing second in the latest poll.
Meanwhile, third-place pick Richard Bergeron sought to make the same point with Marcel Cote and his Coalition Montreal party.
“Who was the leader of the caucus of Union Montreal? Bernard Blanchet. He's with you,” said the Projet Montreal leader.
His point almost backfired, however.
“In fact you were in the executive committee and you didn't change it when you were there,” Cote fired back.
On the subject of metros, Bergeron knew he was speaking to Anglophones when he brought up service to the West Island.
“The question was can it be extended to the West Island? The answer is yes,” he said.
Cote vehemently disagreed.
“It's ridiculous to spend $350 to $400 million per kilometre when you already have two trains – one to the northern part of the West Island, one to the southern part of the West Island, “ he countered.
Melanie Joly said she would invest in a rapid bus system and a surface metro for people on the west end, while Denis Coderre said he'll complete some long-discussed traffic plans.
“For the last 30 years, we’ve been talking about Cavendish. The time has come to deliver,” he said.
On the subject of English speakers, Coderre repeated his refrain, that “everyone is first-class citizen.”
Bergeron said having so many Anglos leave in the 1970s was dramatic, and Joly said the best way to keep Anglos here is simply to improve the city.
Marcel Cote again clarified his position, saying while he would create a position to help promote French – and would do the same for English.
“There will be another person on the executive committee looking after Anglo rights, which I've always respected, always protected,” he said.
The election is Nov. 3