The federal election isn’t over yet, but Montreal is already preparing for one of its own. The city’s municipal election campaign officially began on Friday.
At midnight, the campaign commenced. Shortly after, poles alongside Montreal’s busiest streets were plastered with political posters for the mayoral candidates.
Valérie Plante started her morning with Projet Montréal candidates at the party’s headquarters. Her enthusiasm carried over to her first press conference of the official campaign.
“We’re a team, a strong team. We’re working together. We’re ready to win this,” said Plante.
But it didn’t take long for her to start taking shots at opponent Denis Coderre. “Montrealers have a choice between yesterday’s man or a bold, ambitious future,” she said.
To which Coderre replied, “sometimes we have to make a difference between past and experience.”
The former mayor handed in his nomination papers at Montreal City Hall on Friday afternoon. Speaking to reporters after, he said, “I feel great. I feel honoured. I feel humbled.”
Coderre said he needed time to reflect after losing to Plante in 2017. Now, in his third run for mayor, Coderre promises his party, Ensemble Montréal, will bring back the magic he says is missing.
“I believe that this is not a Montreal for everybody,” said Coderre.
For Coderre, the biggest issue in this election is safety. He says rampant gun violence needs to be tackled.
“Because from now on, it’s shoot everywhere. So it’s not a matter of a street. It’s a matter of every type, every territories of the metropolis. So let’s talk about the issue. People want hope. They want a plan,” he said.
Plante argues that she is acting on it, and said Coderre only says Montreal is dangerous to win electoral points.
“I don’t like somebody coming and saying, like, Montreal is dangerous and kind of demeaning all the work that is being done,” she said.
While it may seem like a two-way race, Mouvement Montreal leader Balarama Holness says it’s really anyone’s election to win.
“We are going to establish that it’s a three-way race and we’re going to see this in many ways, particularly from the ground game,” said Holness.
Holness spent his first day of the campaign on the ground putting up posters promoting his grassroots organization.
“We really have a party that reflects Montreal and we’re looking forward to going out and meeting Montrealers to share our vision from Montreal and to address the real needs of Montrealers during this campaign,” he said.
Montrealers go to the polls on Nov. 7.