Montreal is one of the three great metropolises of Canada. Along with Toronto and Vancouver, Montréal has a larger than life presence in the la vie quotidienne of millions of people in Canada. Toronto has a population in its census metropolitan area of about 5.6 million people. Montreal is 3.8 million. Vancouver cma has a population of 2.3 million. Montreal is also the cultural and commercial capital of French speaking Canada.But its politics are byzantine and in the past decade very disappointing for a metropolis of such high importance. This evening we will learn the results of the election for mayor of the city and the council of some 65 members as well as lesser elected officials in the 19 districts or arrondisements that the city is divided into.
Over the years, ever since the colorful but quite corrupt administration of Camillien Houde who served as mayor for a long period of time beginning in 1928 which ended with several interruptions including a spell in an internment camp for supporting the axis powers during the war years in 1954; Montreal has seen Jean Drapeau , a strong Québec nationalist; Sarto Fournier an associate of Houde; Jean Doré a left wing technocrat; Pierre Bourque an environmentalist; Gérald Tremblay a technocrat who appears to have run a permissive regime in which corruption seems to have thrived; Michel Applebaum a developer oriented mayor whose very short term ended in scandal, and Laurent Blanchard to have served as mayor .A total of seven mayors in the 59 years that followed the Houdini days of Camillien Houde. Tonight there are 11 candidates for mayor but realistically only four have a chance to be elected mayor. These include a former federal Liberal cabinet member Denis Coderre who has been favoured in the polls ; Melanie Joly, a political novice who is young and comes from a private sector background; Marcel Coté a little known technocrat of considerable management intellect; and a radical but experienced environmentalist and urban planner Richard Bergeron who has many years of experience as a member of council. We shall see shortly if the 44 % or so of Montrealers who have bothered to vote prefer a fresh face who is untainted or voices of experience but who also have some baggage from the past.
8:55 pm The polls have been closed almost an hour and Denis Coderre looks like he is on the way to being elected Mayor of Montreal. With a substantial fraction of the polls reporting Coderre has 20,572 votes ; Joly has 12,781; Bergeron has 11,275 votes and Marcel Coté, 7333 votes. We shall see if the trend continues or the gap narrows somewhat but Coderre seems well on the way to victory.His party also leads in 36 council seats compared to 9 for Bergeron’s Projet Montréal, 8 for Marcel Coté’s Coalition Montréal and one for Melanie Joly’s Vrai changement pour Montréal .
Coderre is a staunch federalist and opposes the PQ’s Charter of Values and will be a strong voice for Montréal in defending its interests. The future of Québec’s economy and therefore an important chunk of metropolitan Canada depends upon it.
Results as of 10 pm Coderre 86,907 Joly 72,349, Bergeron 70,406, Coté 34,886
Council seats Coderre 32, Bergeron Projet Montréal 19 seats, Coalition Montréal Coté, 5; Joly 3
results as of 10.40 pm Coderre 115,022 Joly 96,483, Bergeron 95,289 Coté 46,785
council seats Coderre 30, Bergeron 19, Coté 5, Joly 3
results as of 11.52 council seats Coderre 27; Bergeron 22; Coté 5; Joly 3. Popular vote Coderre 135,465; Joly 112,737; Bergeron 110,227; Coté 54,495. the candidates and the Mayor elect have given their speeches. They were gracious in defeat and generous in victory. Melanie Joly was clearly excited by her excellent showing, a tremendous achievement by a political novice.Richard Bergeron was very pleased by the strong showing of his party who will form the core of the opposition at city hall. Denis Coderre was clear in stressing that all of the candidates loved Montreal and wanted to restore its status as a great Canadian and Quebec metropolis to which all could contribute and which would be transparent and honest and a city based on intelligence and culture. Lets hope he is right.
Final results as of Nov.5 2013 Denis Coderre 149,367 votes 32 % and 27 councillors; Melanie Joly 123,081 26.5 % of the vote and 4 councillors; Richard Bergeron 118,644 votes and his Projet Montréal party 20 councillors; Marcel Coté 59,446 votes 12.8 % and 6 councillors . In addition there are 2 councillors elected from Lachine on party led by Claude Dauphin; 2 elected from Anjou on an Anjou party platform; 2 from Lasalle on a local party platform; 1 from Outremont on a separate party platform and one independent elected in NDG. The voter turnout was better than last time but still pathetically low, 43 %.