January 3, 2014 2:09 pm
Updated: January 6, 2014 2:32 pm

Place your vote for Montreal’s newsmaker of the year

Four mayors of Montreal in the past year: Gerald Tremblay, Michael Applebaum, Laurent Blanchard and Denis Coderre.

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MONTREAL – Another year, another flurry of newsmakers!

From Montreal’s various mayors, to the architects of the Charter of Values, to alleged mob leaders making a comeback, to undeniable courage in the face of disaster, to local leaders taking risks, to Montrealers standing up for what they believe in.

Montrealers have voted who they think deserves the ultimate accolade of Global Montreal’s newsmaker of the year and the prize goes to Bill 60, with 21.92 per cent of the votes.

Bill 60
Tabled in the Quebec National Assembly in November, Bill 60 was definitely the newsmaker of the year for drawing the most protest, creating the most division and stirring up so much emotion.

Camille Ross, Anchor

The Quebec government tabled its controversial values charter (Bill 60) in the national assembly on Thursday – a bill that could eventually send Quebecers to the polls.

Denis Coderre
Coderre seems to bring a work ethic and bravado of someone who has a flurry of ideas and doesn’t really care about polls or what opinions people have of him. He also doesn’t suffer fools gladly. As the street vernacular goes, this guy has a pair and is willing to use them. He’s the new mayor of Montreal, yet he still has the time to coach the Canadiens!
Peter Anthony Holder, Anchor

Denis Coderre smiles after being sworn in as mayor of Montreal Thursday, November 14, 2013 in Montreal.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Bernard Drainville
I’d vote for the three of the PQ horsemen of the Charter debate: Pauline Marois, Bernard Drainville and Jean-Francois Lisée. Marois and Drainville (the architects of Bill 60), and Liseé, the PQ member most often quoted on the charter and the one charged with selling it to anglophones. I’d also back Denis Coderre whose election as mayor of Montreal in November is slowly renewing people’s faith in the city. Let’s hope he can keep it up for another four years.
Jamie Orchard, Senior News Anchor

Quebec Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship Bernard Drainville presents the Charter of Quebec values Tuesday, September 10, 2013.

Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Brigitte Frot
The director-general of Quebec’s Soccer Federation unwittingly kicked off a debate around “ostentatious religious symbols” when Brigitte Frot announced the association would uphold a ban on players wearing turbans.

Quebec Soccer Federation (QSF) Executive Director Brigitte Frot speaks to reporters at a news conference in Laval, Que., Saturday, June 15, 2013, where she announced the lifting of a ban prohibiting the wearing of turban’s on Quebec soccer fields.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Isabelle Gaston
Almost five years after her two children were stabbed to death by her then-husband, Isabelle Gaston is still one of the most talked about people in Quebec as she continues to fight for justice.
Domenic Fazioli, Reporter

Isabelle Gaston, ex-wife of Guy Turcotte, speaks to reporters during a break in the appeal hearing Monday, September 30, 2013 in Montreal. Turcotte was found not criminally responsible in the 2009 slayings of his two children.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Genee Latreille
This mother spoke out in defense of her son’s educators after a photo was published on Facebook of niqab-wearing daycare teachers in Montreal went viral in Quebec. It took a lot of courage to do so, especially in light of how negatively so many Quebecers responded to the image.
Amanda Kelly, Web Producer

A photo showing two daycare workers walking with children in their care in Montreal has caused an uproar in Quebec.

Pauline Marois
The controversial Charter of Values has sparked enormous criticism across Quebec and the country. The entire debate toward religion and individual rights has been relaunched with some disturbing results. The bill hasn’t been introduced meaning this issue will be a news maker for months to come and it all falls on Premier Pauline Marois.
Tim Sargeant, Reporter

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois delivers a closing speech to delegates at a Parti Quebecois convention in Montreal, Sunday, November 10, 2013.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Mindy Pollack
Mindy Pollak, the 24-year-old Hasidic woman who was elected as borough councillor in Outremont in November, becoming the first Hasidic woman to hold office in Montreal.
Anne Leclair, Reporter

Mindy Pollak, the 24-year-old Hasidic woman elected as borough councillor in Outremont.

Arthur Porter
My vote goes to Dr. Arthur Porter. Who could have imagined the American with a shadowy past would be languishing in a Panamian jail waiting to be extradited to Canada to face fraud charges in the super hospital project? The bow-tie-wearing Porter appears to have conned everybody, even Senator Angus and Prime Minister Harper. But the hospital is almost built!
Karen MacDonald, News Director

In this photo taken Saturday, March 2, 2013, Dr. Arthur Porter speaks with a reporter at his home in Nassau, Bahamas. Canada’s anti-corruption police issued on Feb. 27, 2013 an arrest warrant for Porter, a physician and cancer specialist who faces six fraud-related charges stemming from the construction of the $3.1 billion McGill University Health Center in Montreal. He said he has stage-four cancer and is too ill to travel from the Bahamas to face investigators.

Jeff Todd/AP/The Canadian Press

Vito Rizzuto
Vito Rizzuto has done the unthinkable just a year after returning home from a stint in a U.S. prison: he’s back on top in Montreal’s underworld.
Dominic Fazioli, Reporter

Vito Rizzuto, right, reputed head of the Montreal Mafia, speaks with his attorney Jean Salois after his hearing in Montreal on Feb. 6, 2004.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Colette Roy-Laroche
With so many of Quebec’s mayors ending their careers in disrepute, the mayor of Lac-Megantic sealed her legacy as a mayor with incredible bravery and heart, as she faced the unfathomable challenge of dealing with the aftermath of the train explosion that devastated her town.

Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche stands next to Christmas trees placed in front of the church Sunday, December 8, 2013 in Lac-Megantic, Que., one for every one of the 47 victims of an oil tanker train derailment that burned the most part of downtown Lac-Megantic in July.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The Mayors
Maybe the person of the year should just be “The Montreal Mayor.” It’s usually the politician we talk about the least – but not in 2013. From Montreal’s Gerald Tremblay to Michael Applebaum to Laurent Blanchard to Denis Coderre . . .  to Laval’s various mayors . . . to Lac Megantic! Never mind Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary! Seriously, this was “The Year of the The Mayor!”
Mike Armstrong, Global National Reporter based in Montreal 

Four mayors of Montreal in the past year: Gerald Tremblay, Michael Applebaum, Laurent Blanchard and Denis Coderre.

The Superbeam
I would like to nominate the superbeam. Its installation meant that the Champlain Bridge has been reopened to traffic, allowing Montreal commuters access to the South Shore – and vice versa!
Gloria Henriquez, Producer

The superbeam was a temporary fix for a 2 mm crack on the Champlain Bridge in Montreal.

Éric Gaudreault/Global News

Did we miss anyone? Let us know who would get your vote in the comments!

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