Laurence Lavigne Lalonde as new mayor while Mary Deros gets reelected
Parc-Extension residents headed to the polls last Sunday and voted overwhelmingly for a change of mayor, electing Laurence Lavigne Lalonde. Electors also cast ballots in district-level elections, voting to reelect incumbent Parc-Extension City Councillor Mary Deros.
At Montreal city hall, a significant majority of voters decided to reelect incumbent Mayor Valérie Plante and her party Projet Montréal, receiving over 52 percent of the total vote. This put her opponent former Mayor Denis Coderre of Ensemble Montréal in distant second place with approximately 38 percent of the vote. Third-party candidate Balarama Holness came in third with approximately 7 percent.
Projet Montréal candidate Laurence Lavigne Lalonde won the borough mayoral race with a total of 16,160 votes, accounting for 53.3 percent of ballots cast. This put her in front of Ensemble Montréal candidate Guillaume Lavoie who received 9,747 votes or 32.1 percent, separating them by a margin of 6,413 votes.
Outgoing mayor Giuliana Fumagalli came in a distant third place with 2,324 votes, making up about 7.7 percent of the total votes cast. Mouvement Montréal’s Julien Kakpovi came in fourth with 1,662 votes while Clément Sauriol of Action Montréal – Équipe Gilbert Thibodeau came in fifth with 430 votes, accounting for 5.5 percent and 1.4 percent respectively.
New borough Mayor
“THANK YOU to the citizens of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension,” said mayor-elect Lavigne Lalonde after her victory. “It was so inspiring to meet you, discuss your ideas, projects and concerns,” she said.
“You spoke to me about the environment, housing, transport and inequalities. I heard you and look forward to working with you and for you,” she added before thanking her team of volunteers and all the other Projet Montréal candidates who ran with her, including City Councillor candidate in Parc-Extension Genevieve Morency, who came in second place.
“The diversity of this borough is its wealth and that wealth is precious. Together we will bring that forward,” she added, before thanking incumbent Mayor Valérie Plante for her work over the past four years and all other candidates who also ran for office.
Laurence Lavigne Lalonde was previously a City Councillor for the district of Maisonneuve–Longue-Pointe in the borough of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and was also a member of Projet Montréal’s executive committee.
In the district of Parc-Extension, City Councillor Mary Deros of Ensemble Montréal kept her seat with 2,871 votes, accounting for 43 percent of the ballots cast. First elected in 1998 under the Vision Montréal banner, this will be her seventh mandate.
“I’m looking forward to another mandate,” said Mary Deros the day after the election. “I thank the citizens for their support for the seventh time and I pledge to continue to work for the betterment of Parc-Ex,” she continued.
“It’s a bittersweet victory, not having Coderre as Mayor of Montreal and not having Guillaume Lavoie as borough mayor, but I’m a pragmatist,” she explained, adding that “this is what the people chose, I will work with it and make sure that Parc-Ex is not forgotten in all this.”
The veteran City Councillor said she was looking forward to working with the new mayor adding that her priority was to serve all residents regardless of their political affiliations. “I don’t plan to play political games,” Deros added.
The runner up Genviève Morency, who ran as a rookie candidate with Projet Montréal, came in second with 2,539 votes. She was followed by Leonora Indira King of Quartiers Montréal with 8,8 percent and Mohammad Yousuf of Mouvement Montréal with 8,5 percent.
Laurence Lavigne Lalonde will replace outgoing Mayor Giuliana Fumagalli, who had previously been a member of Projet Montréal but was ousted after a scandal in 2018. She founded the party Quartiers Montréal which she said has a more tailored and local approach in addressing issues in the borough.
“Thank you to all the voters, the volunteers who stayed tirelessly committed. You have my gratitude,” said the outgoing Mayor. Although Fumagalli did not win her race, she and her team celebrated what they saw as a successful and positive campaign.
“I created the only party in Quebec to present all-female candidates. I went and found them one by one in their neighbourhoods, where they were doing great work, and now they have a taste and a passion for municipal politics,” she explained, adding that this was a success in itself.
Although none of the party’s candidates were elected, Quartiers Montréal will continue its work in the community and may potentially be back for the 2025 elections. “Our movement will continue to work for the betterment of the residents of our borough,” she noted.
Low turn out
With polls now closed and all ballots counted, it quickly became clear that turnout at this election was particularly low. Across Montreal, only 36.87 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot.
That number in the borough of Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension was virtually identical, with only 36,85 percent of the 84,548 eligible voters casting ballots. In the district of Parc-Extension, the percentage was even lower with only 35,64 percent of electors voting, amounting to 6,817.
The district also has a large proportion of residents not eligible to vote in elections, with only 19,125 registered voters in a population of approximately 28,775.
Elected officials in municipal office serve four years mandates, with the next election set for November 2025. The first borough council meeting of the new government will be held virtually on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 6:30 PM.