Plante criticizes Coderre for standing by controversial candidates

Click to play video: 'Three controversial candidates running with Denis Coderre remain in race' Three controversial candidates running with Denis Coderre remain in race
WATCH: Montreal mayoral contender Denis Coderre has been forced to defend three separate candidates running for his party in the past two weeks. Valérie Plante is questioning his standards and a well-known candidate Coderre dumped last month is now making his own accusations. Global’s Dan Spector reports. – Oct 19, 2021

After Montreal mayoral contender Denis Coderre was forced to defend three separate candidates running for his party in the past two weeks, his rival Valerie Plante is questioning his standards.

“We have a second chance, but you don’t have a third one,” Coderre said Tuesday.

The Ensemble Montreal leader has been giving out plenty of second chances of late, which has Projet Montreal leader Plante concerned about citizens’ faith in politicians.

“It contributes to cynicism when you have candidates that have done things that are really problematic,” she said.

After recent reports that Côte-des-Neiges candidate Dimitra Kostarides was involved in a 2003 financial scandal, Coderre expressed confidence in her.

“We need Lionel Perez (running for borough mayor) and all the team to make things happen,” he said.

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Plante wonders if voters will be able to trust Kostarides.

“We’re talking about somebody who did break that trust,” she said.

Read more: Joe Ortona out as Ensemble Montreal candidate after EMSB document disputes Quebec nationhood

Meanwhile, Coderre did not give another chance to English Montreal School Board (EMSB) chair Joe Ortona in September. Ortona was kicked out of Ensemble Montreal when the EMSB denounced Bill 96, Quebec’s language law reform legislation, for infringing on the rights of the English-speaking community.

“It has everything to do with not talking to us before, and I believe in the Quebec nation and he didn’t. Then afterwards, he said it was a mistake. Too late,” said Coderre.

Ortona wonders why Coderre is standing by other controversial candidates, but dumped him immediately,

“They’re just kowtowing to the CAQ government because they don’t want to lose any votes,” he claimed.

Coderre laughed when asked about Ortona’s accusation.

Plante is also criticizing Coderre for standing by Ensemble Montreal Verdun mayoral candidate Antoine Richard after some of his real estate dealings were questioned.

“When you want to be an elected official, you cannot just be average,” said Plante. “You have to step up and think of what kind of message does it send to people. It can’t be, ‘Oh, it’s OK, other people do it.’ To me, it’s the wrong message to send.”

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Read more: Ensemble Montréal candidate apologizes over controversial social media posts

Coderre decided to keep Dan Kraft as a candidate in Outremont after he apologized for posting a link to a climate change-denying documentary in September, and on Twitter in 2020 he accused a Black man who questioned a traffic stop of seeking his 15 minutes of fame.

“There won’t be another chance if I witness that again from Mr. Kraft,” Coderre said on Oct. 8.

Plante wonders: “What message does it send to people when you have a candidate that doesn’t believe in climate change?”

Coderre insists he has the best team to run the city.

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