Mayoral hopefuls talk financing, clean campaigns
Published Sunday, September 8, 2013 5:35PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, September 8, 2013 7:32PM EDT
MONTREAL -- Surrounded by their candidates, the three main Montreal mayoral hopefuls were all hard at work Sunday, speaking about party financing, integrity and electoral laws.
With the Charbonneau Commission putting the spotlight on ethics and financing, a preoccupation in Quebec, candidates have spent much time emphasizing their cleanliness and that of their campaigns.
Projet Montreal's leader Richard Bergeron said Sunday he's demanding disclosure about campaign financing.
"Three weeks ago, Mr. Coderre and Mr. Cote had a very strong commitment that they will put on the Internet their sources of financing, and they have not done that yet,” he said.
Bergeron says in this Charbonneau Commission era, the population wants answers.
“It's very easy with Projet Montreal. Just go on the Internet and you can see who financed Projet Montreal,” he said.
In the meantime, mayoralty candidate Denis Coderre responded to a Canadian Press report that it was the federal Liberal Party that received the majority of $2.2 million spent by individuals and companies now suspected of corruption, and that Coderre's former riding of Bourassa received the second-highest sum of money dispersed.
“It's public. It's totally transparent at the federal level for the past 20 years,” said Coderre. “We were allowed to receive money from corporations and it was public.”
Meantime, Coderre suggests that Marcel Cote should look in his own backyard.
“So Mr. Cote is aware of everybody that gave to Vision Montreal? Is it okay? Is everything under control? Are there any names there? Maybe he should take a look at that too,” he said.
Members of Vision Montreal are now running under a different banner, however. As Vision candidates moved to become part of Coalition Montreal, the group is now officially called Coalition Montreal - Marcel Cote.
“People are still members of Vision Montreal, but they are elected as part of Coalition Montreal Marcel Cote,” explained Cote, because Quebec's Director General of Elections ruled that candidates must campaign under one banner, whether they are members of Vision Montreal or not.
“When we put aside a couple of issues that caused a lot of conflict in the last council, we found a lot of common ground,” said city councilor Marvin Rotrand, who is running under Cote.
While this group works to solidify its identity, political analyst Robert Libman said with seven week left before the Nov. 3 election, the tone of this campaign will likely start to shift soon.
“The bread and butter issues are very far removed from corruption. Obviously it's important to clean up the city and make sure some of the abuses don't happen again, but the candidates have to start showing Montrealers what they're all about and what their vision is for the future for the city," he said.