The Bloc Québécois is bringing in a little star power in an attempt to steal one of the lone Liberal strongholds in the east end of Montreal.

Actor Martin Laroche, star of the French television series "François en series" who has played numerous other film, television and stage roles, was announced Monday as the Bloc's candidate in the riding of Honoré-Mercier.

Ever since the riding was created in 2003 – including parts of Anjou, Riviere-des-Prairies and the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough – it was won by high profile Liberal Pablo Rodriguez.

Rodriguez's election wins in 2004 and 2006 were relatively close, with both coming by less than 3,000 votes. But Rodriguez widened the gap in 2008 with a victory over the Bloc's Gerald Labelle by over 7,000 votes, or more than his margin of victory in the two previous elections combined.

Laroche will be hoping to change that.

The 38-year-old studied theatre at College Lionel-Groulx, but before that he completed a minor in political science at the University of Laval in Quebec City.

Drabkin to take on Garneau

Meanwhile, an opposing candidate in another Liberal stronghold of Montreal was also announced Monday as lawyer Neil Drabkin will carry the Tory banner in Westmount-Ville Marie against incumbent Marc Garneau.

Drabkin spent the last five years in Ottawa working for Conservative Treasury Board president Stockwell Day, who is not running for re-election.

Garneau, a former Canadian astronaut, won the riding in 2008 with 46.5 per cent of the popular vote. The Conservative candidate, Guy Dufort, finished a distant third behind the NPD with 15.8 per cent of the vote.

With files from The Canadian Press