As the song goes, “What a Difference A Day Makes.”
Last Sunday the municipal terra firma shook with a vengeance.
The entrails of the result have been examined and analyzed: Denis Coderre lost because he was out of touch; the once populist mayor became tone deaf to what Montrealers were really concerned about.
Valerie Plante brought a fresh approach leading a campaign of positivity.
Her strategy focused on people and families and how to make their daily lives better.
Many say her victory should serve as a lesson that the world is changing and the old way of doing things just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Yes there was a sea change at city hall but there maybe also is a danger of reading too much into it.
Almost six in 10 Montrealers did not bother to vote.
Turnout rates in some districts were disgraceful: in Snowdon, 39%; in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, 36.5%; in downtown Peter McGill , 28%.
I like to vote. I think it is important and it gives me bitching rights.
Many Montrealers are heralding the Plante victory as a brand new day but it seems for most Montrealers , it’s a day like any other and that indifference is a shame.
It’s also troubling that the new council is almost entirely lily white and francophone.
In a city which is becoming more diverse by the day, in a city where a third of the residents are from visible minority communities, it is concerning they make up only six percent of council.
That’s the good news, but as she points out “look at the numbers and it’s a lower number than we’ve seen in the past. Today we are at four visible minorities out of 65 at the municipal council.”
It’s up to the parties to seek out minority candidates because too often the perception is that the doors are closed when in a city such as ours, they should be thrown wide open.
The Big Owe returns
The government has greenlighted the replacement process.
It will be the third roof for the joyless concrete monster that has cost well over a billion dollars.
The new roof will be another quarter billion dollars or more.
At some point we have to say enough.
We don’t need it for a few soccer games a year and monster truck pulls.
Why do we need to keep fixing this thing when we know it will need more repairs?
Franchement, it’s time to let go.
Because like an old car, it will be one repair job after the next.
In car terms, it’s a beater.
The F word
And let’s take a look at the letter of the day: F.
The council says it really doesn’t offend in French so it’s fine to use it anywhere and everywhere.
On the English side it remains a taboo and with good reason.
People who use too often it are usually linguistically-challenged, but it’s another sign of our deep language divide in Quebec.
On the other hand, I can remember a time when the F word in Quebec stood for federalist, so maybe we have made some progress.