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Sud-Ouest councillor Craig Sauve to be NDP candidate in riding left vacant by David Lametti

Craig Sauvé
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Ottawa -

City councillor Craig Sauvé will run for the New Democratic Party (NDP) in Montreal's LaSalle-Émard-Verdun riding in the next general election.

He will be elected by acclamation at a nomination meeting scheduled for Sunday afternoon, as no other candidacies were received before the deadline, the political party confirmed to The Canadian Press.

In a video to be shown to activists, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh says the 43-year-old politician, who has been a councillor in the Sud-Ouest borough since 2013, represents "a golden opportunity" for their party.

"Craig is already a really well-known councillor in the county and can present himself as a real option for the working classes, for working people, and we can win," he says. "Together, we can build a better country. Together, we can build a better society."

In an interview on Friday evening, Sauvé said he "loves" his current job but also realizes that "more structural" changes require the support of higher levels of government.

Sauvé said he sees "enthusiasm" for the NDP when he goes door-to-door and dissatisfaction with Justin Trudeau's Liberals, so much so that he believes his fellow citizens, whom he describes as "progressives," may well cause a surprise and "turn orange this time."

But that's no easy task. Liberal David Lametti has won three consecutive elections since 2015, when the riding was created. In the last election, in 2021, Lametti was re-elected with 42.9 per cent of the vote. The Bloc Québécois candidate was a distant second (22.1 per cent) and the NDP candidate came third (19.4 per cent).

Sauvé felt that all hopes were justified, given his track record as a councillor who "delivered the goods" and the fact that the previous NDP candidate had run "a very small campaign" with almost no public presence.

"In spite of that, there was 20 per cent. So that's the base, base, base. We're going to run a big campaign, we're going to pull out all the stops," he said.

Sauvé does not intend to resign from his position but plans to take a sabbatical during the election period "like the other councillors before me" and donate his salary to local charities at that time.

In 2021, he withdrew from the Mayor Valérie Plante's Projet Montréal caucus and has been sitting as an independent councillor since he became embroiled in allegations of sexual assault just days before the municipal elections. He has always denied the allegations.

"As far as I'm concerned, the case is closed," reiterated Sauvé in an interview. He noted that a police investigation had taken place and that no charges had been laid. Nor has the victim filed a lawsuit.

The riding of LaSalle-Émard-Verdun was left vacant by the resignation of David Lametti on Jan. 31, a few months after the former justice minister was excluded from the cabinet during last summer's reshuffle.

The government has a maximum of six months after the resignation of an MP to call a by-election.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 27, 2024.  

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