Montreal parties unveil candidates
Published Sunday, August 30, 2009 9:16PM EDT
Mayor Gerald Tremblay enjoyed a rock star's welcome Sunday as he unveiled his slate of 102 candidates for this fall's municipal election.
Loyal supporters packed the auditorium at College Maisonneuve, chanting his name as he walked down the aisle to the main podium, and boasted about his record.
"For eight years, there's no administration that has done more than we have done for Montreal," Tremblay told party stalwarts.
While the official launch to the November 1 campaign is in a few weeks, Tremblay has a significant amount of bad press to overcome in his bid for a third term in office.
The main opposition party, Vision Montreal, promises to jump over Union Montreal's perceived ethics problem during the campaign.
At an outdoor rally, mayoral candidate Louise Harel showed off 75 of her party's candidates.
She also showed off what could be her main prop during the campaign, when she wielded a broom and asked supporters "Are you ready for a big cleanup next November first?"
Benoit Labonte, who used to be a Union Montreal councillor before switching sides, plans to hammer Tremblay.
"It's the only administration in the history of montreal with six police investigations, five are still on their way," said Labonte.
Political analyst Jean Lapierre says the investigations have a strong potential of sinking Tremblay's campaign.
"That's the weak point of his administration, so he has to take it personally on his shoulders and try to carry the whole administration becouse no one questions his own personal integrity," said Lapierre.
"If the level of vote is low, Mr. Tremblay is laughing to the ballot box. If people get motivated then it's usually the opposition and people that are mad that would go and vote and that means trouble for Mr. Tremblay."
On the other hand, Union Montreal does have a roster of experienced candidates, and plenty of money in its coffers, which will assist Tremblay's bid.
However yet another possible hurdle looms on the horizon.
An auditor's report on the Genieau water contract is due on Sept. 21, and while Tremblay has already suspended the contract the contents could spell even more trouble for Union Montreal.