Coderre points to experience while Holness emphasizes new ideas on the campaign trail
MONTREAL -- Montreal mayoral candidate Denis Coderre and his Ensemble Montreal party kicked off its summer campaign on Sunday by unveiling a slate of candidates who will run in November's election.
At the Verdun event, nine candidates who will run in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, St-Leonard, Ville-Marie, Pointe-Aux-Trembles and Verdun were announced.
“We need experience. We need people who know what to do with the management. We need people who will be able to work with the bureaucracy,” said Coderre.
The once and possibly future mayor of Montreal said experience was key in finding candidates for Ensemble Montreal.
“We have people from the restaurant level, from enterprises, community level, sports, culture,” he said. “This is a greaty diversity. We don't study diversity, we are diversity.”
Also on the campaign trail was one of Coderre's opponents, also seeking to unseat incumbent Valerie Plante. Balarama Holness, the former Montreal Alouette and a community activist, said his Movement Montreal is “the only party that actually reflects the diversity of Montreal and that's something we're very proud of.”
Holness pitched himself as a salve for Montrealers who are sick of the Plante versus Coderre debate. The latter two ran against each other four years ago, with Plante emerging victorious over the then-mayor.
Holness said his party is one of big ideas, such as making Montreal a bilingual city and changing bylaws to increase social housing.
“We have a tremendous amount of support from all Montrealers,” he said. “They are telling us something very, very clear. We do not want to go back to the Plante/Coderre era.”
However, Holness admitted to facing a challenge in getting people to know his name in a field dominated by current and former mayors.
“Once I am on the debate stage with Valerie Plante and Denis Coderre and we are speaking about policy, we are speaking about Montrealers, that is when the game is going to change,” he said.