He may be a new face on the campaign trail, but Jean Fortier is no stranger to City Hall.
The newest candidate for mayor of Montreal was Chair of the executive committee under former mayor Pierre Bourque, and is now running with Coalition Montreal.
On Sunday he campaigned in Cote-des-Neiges, meeting with local residents in the community where he grew up.
After Bourque lost the election to Gerald Tremblay back in 2001, Fortier left City Hall to pursue other avenues, including a master’s degree in the management of engineering contracts.
He says as mayor he would want to go further than the arrests brought on by the Charbonneau Commission.
“Integrity is not a matter of figuring out who has a criminal record or not,” he said. “It's in the processes for one thing. In order to make the civil servants accountable for what they're doing they first have to know what they're doing, who's doing what and in what measure.”
Fortier announced his candidacy last week after Coalition Montreal's interim leader Marvin Rotrand asked him to give voters another choice besides Denis Coderre and Valerie Plante for mayor of the city.
“He won't be ideologically driven like Valerie who's courageous and I admire her and he won't be boastful like Denis who puffs up his chest and has already told people he's going to have a huge majority,” Rotrand said.
In 2013 Fortier stepped back from being a candidate for Melanie Joly because he didn’t want to split the vote. Now, Fortier says he wants to be seen as a serious candidate, and not the spoiler in this election.
“If I wouldn't believe that I'm - without any kind of false modesty - that I wasn't the best person for that job today I wouldn’t run quite frankly,” he said. “It's matter of not only being sure of myself but I have the profound conviction that I'm the most competent person with most experience and integrity to do the job.”
Coalition Montreal has now announced 8 candidates for the election and hopes to run 20. The party plans to introduce more candidates in the coming days and weeks.