Ensemble Montréal unveils its team for municipal elections in the borough
On a rainy Sunday morning, mayoral candidate Denis Coderre and members of his party Ensemble Montreal gathered at the Centre Leonardo Da Vinci in Montreal’s east-end to announce new candidates for the boroughs of Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension and Saint-Leonard.
Among the candidates announced was the current city councillor for Park Extension Mary Deros, who has now been in office since 1998. This was in addition to the announcement that city councillor for Saint-Michel Josué Corvil would also be running again.
They were also accompanied by the candidacy announcements of ex-police officer Suzanne De Larochellière for Saint-Léonard West and former commissioner of the Pointe-de-Île School Board Arij-Abrar El Korbi for Saint-Léonard East.
The event was followed by discussions around security concerns in the city’s North-East, where a string of shootings have caused many to worry about their safety. Coderre reiterated his intention if elected to give police more resources to deal with a rise in violence as well as equipping them with body cameras.
Still more to be done
Mary Deros has been city councillor for Park Extension over multiple mayoral mandates, including those of Michael Applebaum, Pierre Bourque and Gérald Tremblay. It came as little surprise to many residents that she would be running again.
“I’m proud to be their voice and I’m here to listen,” said Deros on her mandate to the people of Park Ex. “There’s still much to be done in Park Extension,” she added, explaining she and her team would work to address the issues both in the district and in the borough.
Deros also underlined the harmonious multiethnic nature of Park Extension. “The vivre ensemble ethos is done well in Park Extension, with 115 communities from all origins living together in peace and harmony,” she said.
“We will continue to work together, listen to residents and always work towards a better Montreal,” she concluded. If re-elected, this would be Deros’ 7th mandate as city councillor.
Making the announcement hours before leaving for a short holiday to the Magdelaine Islands, Denis Coderre again underlined the diversity of his party and further stressed the importance of citizen involvement in the political process.
“They embody the Vivre Ensemble ethos that Ensemble Montreal advocates, as well as the peaceful and harmonious cohabitation that we wish to put in place,” said Coderre of his team, adding they would make an effort on better community consultation.
“It is time to bring Montrealers together, to take a closer look at their needs and to make their voices resonate,” he added.
Saint-Leonard was the location of a deadly shooting in February when 15-year-old Meriem Boundaoui was shot and killed inside a parked car. This has been accompanied by a rise in gun violence across the city’s northeast.
Coderre pushed against what he says is the Plante administration’s desire to defund and disarm the police and reiterated his desire to better equip police to fight crime. “We should maybe finance in another, better way without removing resources,” he said.
He added that the implementation of body cameras would protect police, keep officers accountable and allow citizens to regain trust in the police force. “All the prevention tools that we’re putting together will have an impact on the way that you intervene and in the relationship that you have with the population,” added Coderre.
Valérie Plante’s administration has also promised that if re-elected, it would implement police body cameras by 2022. But, third mayoral candidate Balarama Holness told CTV News that body cameras were not a solution. “Solutions are better housing, more support for infrastructure and green spaces,” he added.
Park Extension election
So far, the borough mayoral race will be decided between incumbent Mayor Giuliana Fumagalli, Ensemble Montréal’s candidate Guillaume Lavoie, Projet Montréal’s Laurence Lavigne Lalonde and Aminata Ndiaye for Mouvement Montréal.
Sam Donald for Mouvement Montréal, Nawal Bekhechi for Ralliement Pour Montréal and Geneviève Morency for Projet Montréal have all announced they would be throwing their hats in the ring. Quartiers Montréal, mayor Fumagalli’s new party, has yet to announce a contender.
The municipal election will be held on November 7.