Montreal has a Mayor – Denis Coderre

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See also Montreal seeks a Mayor

Denis CoderreVictor Schukov: Coderre is the greatest Montreal mayor since Drapeau
Staking creative licence, I have always said that the best Montreal mayor should be like the teapot in the famous song: “short and stout.” He should have a “handle” on things and a wickedly effective “spout” to put detractors in their place. He should have an immoveable determination to pursue grandiose plans for the greatest city in Canada. The most pragmatic and progressive mayor is a kingpin. (Smoking a big cigar on a throne is also fitting, but optional.) What Montreal has in Denis Coderre is a Jean Drapeau without the debt of the canyonesque concrete bedpan where the Expos played their last game and super-groups go to have their music sound like its being shredded in a wood chipper.
Sometimes in your lifetime you witness the performance of an A-lister in their field. In Coderre, we have a gem already sparkling through the polish.

  • A new Champlain Bridge that will join only a few such iconic structures of the world. A man of the people, he is fighting the Fed’s appetite for installing toll booths.
  • Albeit a question of being in the right mayoralty at the right time, he still has a leg up on the city’s corporate cleanup via the Charbonneau commission’s findings; at least we have a hint of hope that city hall may no longer be bent so much by the mafia.
  • An observatory planned for the top of Place Ville Marie. What a novel and fun idea.
  • Finally, a complete swimmable beach at the Old Port, not just a trim of sandboxes in the beating sun.
  • Turcot Yards will be magically transformed into a functional green space.
  • Leading a push to host the World Cup in 2026 while avoiding another fiscally toxic Olympics.
  • A convoy of food trucks being dispatched in a pilot project, with a promise from Coderre that the kinks will be worked out. Again, give the people what they want.
  • Ste-Catherine Street to be renovated into its previous world-class glory; with heated sidewalks. Wow. (Does that mean we can shop barefoot in the winter?)
  • How about a mayor who is into life’s daily transformative details, like battling to ban the use of plastic grocery bags by inconsiderately lazy folk, and hanging on to door-to-door mail service?
  • Accessibly, His Honour tweets.
  • A visionary, he seeks special status for Montreal. Who knows? Could this be the first step in an eventual city-state?
  • Habs-proud. (Enough said.) And his pit-bull veracity may even get the Expos back.
  • An in-your-face federalist unlike some previous fence-perching mayors, Coderre subscribes to the concept of his metropolis being a part of the global canvas.

We are watching history being made because this big tea pot with the impish smile is going to surprise us with things Montreal has been sorely lacking with the last three administrations: Progress on a far-seeing scale, returning Montreal to its former glory.


26 November

Taxes and spending up in Montreal’s 2015 budget
Mayor Denis Coderre introduced what he considers a historic budget for the city of Montreal.
The $4.89 billion budget is down by 0.3 per cent compared to last year. He said that’s the first decrease since the new city was created in 2002.
However, while the mayor is insisting spending and taxes are under control, both are going up.
Overall taxes are increasing by an average of 2.2 per cent, combining both central city and borough taxes and fees.
Funds to repair and rebuild roads, as well as the budget for snow removal, are also going up in 2015.
One of the biggest areas where cuts are being made is on salaries and benefits. WATCH: Jamie Orchard speaks with Karim Boulous, a city hall analyst about Mayor Denis Coderre’s controversial budget.
14 October
Fascinating profile!
Martin Patriquin — Gusto, guts, glory-seeking: The Denis Coderre treatment
He may be the saviour Montreal needs. But can even that enormous job possibly satisfy its uber-ambitious mayor?
(Maclean’s) Call it the Coderre treatment, at once a trademark and key political tool of Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, the loudest noise to come out of city hall in decades. Coderre has enjoyed a ten-month extended honeymoon with Montreal; many say he has given a feel-good shot in the arm to a city long a prisoner of its own corruption and hostage to Quebec’s forever unstable politics. A devout populist, he’s Naheed Nenshi by way of rural Quebec, or Rob Ford without the myriad overindulgences. He quotes City Slickers and takes selfies. Twitter was invented for people like him.
Yet under the hammy exterior lies a truly political animal with a keen survival instinct, an appreciation of power and an uncanny ability to remain in the limelight. A Liberal MP who represented the Montreal riding of Bourassa for 16 years until being elected mayor last November, Coderre has spent much of his life either searching out or expanding his political influence.
Coderre has so far done all the right things. He’s reassured the city’s business community, put in place a permanent anti-corruption czar, formed allegiances with his political foes in council and generally impressed voters by being unrelentingly optimistic about Montreal’s prospects. “Montreal is back,” is Coderre’s favourite of many catchphrases.
22 May
It’s going to hurt: Philippe Couillard warns of Quebec’s turbulent economic transition onto austerity track
… Coderre, accompanied by his new best buddy, Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume, was in the dignitaries “chicken coop” of the National Assembly to hear Couillard’s inaugural speech opening the 41st legislature in Quebec’s history.
… for some observers it was Couillard’s take about diversity instead of fearing it after last year’s divisive debates that hit home in a good way.
“You noticed I applauded when he said diversity is not a danger, it’s a wealth,” Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said in an interview with The Gazette. “That was amazing.
“That speech is an antidote against morosity and cynicism. I’m very pleased.”
5 May
Le nouveau shérif de Montréal
Avant son élection à la mairie, Denis Coderre souffrait d’un manque évident de crédibilité. Il passait souvent pour un bouffon sans envergure. Mais plusieurs avaient oublié que sa candidature avait été préparée de longue date, avec beaucoup de minutie, une étape à la fois, et qu’il avait Jean Chrétien comme mentor. Ce qui compte, c’est qu’en peu de temps, Denis Coderre est devenu le cœur et l’âme de Montréal. Il a maintenant cette autorité morale nécessaire pour prendre des décisions, populaires ou impopulaires, et à les mettre en application. Cependant, le plus dur reste à venir, en ce sens que Denis Coderre devra éviter le piège dans lequel est tombé Régis Labeaume et apprendre à partager sa nouvelle gloire avec les autres intervenants. Il devra éviter d’écraser ceux qui ne sont pas d’accord avec lui. Le nouveau gouvernement libéral a déjà annoncé son accord à ce que Montréal obtienne un statut particulier. Il s’agit là d’une condition sine qua non pour que la métropole du Québec redevienne une ville gouvernable.
2 May
Coderre not giving up fight against tolls on new Champlain Bridge
Coderre said Friday that there is a growing coalition in Quebec against tolls on the bridge that Harper cannot ignore.
“This is not just a war of words,” Coderre told reporters. “It is not just the Coderre Show, either. I am president of the Montreal Metropolitan Community, so I represent 82 municipalities. You have the truckers’ associations, you have the boards of trade, you have the government of Quebec. That is starting to be a lot of people (opposing tolls). We will continue to apply pressure.”
Coderre also noted that there will be a federal election in 2015. No compromise from Harper on Champlain Bridge stance
29 April
Montreal will get special status from Quebec
(CTV) There will be special status for the city of Montreal, Quebec’s new municipal affairs minister confirmed along with the city’s mayor Tuesday. Exactly what that will mean for the city has yet to be determined, however; it could take years before new legislation is passed to give Montreal those new powers.
Mayor Denis Coderre met with Liberal Municipal Affairs Minister Pierre Moreau Tuesday morning to discuss possible arrangements that would give the city more autonomy and financial resources to deal with the unique challenges faced by the city.
16 March
Denis Coderre says priority for Montreal is jobs, not referendum Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has no interest in discussing the possibility of another referendum on sovereignty. The staunch federalist and former Liberal MP says there are way more important things to worry about during the Quebec election campaign. The mayor says his top priority for Montreal is the economy and he’s hoping that’s what the April 7 vote is about. When asked to take a position on the referendum debate, Coderre said he sided with his city. “My flag is Montreal,” he said. “What Montrealers are talking about is the economy, so don’t come here with an election about a referendum. We don’t want one.”
5 March

Lysiane Gagnon: In his first 100 days, Montreal mayor surprises After his first 100 days in office, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has received his grades from the public – a near-unanimous A-plus, a rare feat in an era where a politician is everyone’s favourite whipping boy. “With me, it will be low expectations, high delivery,” the former Liberal MP used to say. And indeed, his first weeks in the job came as a pleasant surprise, because he had been seriously underestimated. The chattering classes snubbed him, considering him too much of a populist, not refined enough, to represent Montreal. The business community didn’t want a recycled career politician in charge and delegated one of their own, managing consultant Marcel Côté, to run against him – but failed miserably. Since the election, though, Mr. Coderre has surprised them all with his relentless energy, his hands-on management style and his quick decision-making – a strong contrast with former mayor Gérald Tremblay, an indecisive politician who let the city slide into the dark hole, apparently without noticing what was happening. Mr. Coderre’s first move was to act against corruption. For the new post of inspector-general, which will have sweeping powers to supervise all contracts and financial operations, he chose Denis Gallant, a tough former Crown prosecutor at the anti-corruption Charbonneau commission, who is widely seen as the ideal man for the job. For the equally crucial post of general manager, he hired Alain Marcoux, the well-regarded former top manager of Quebec City. Contrary to the business community’s ill-inspired prejudices against professional politicians, it helped that Mr. Coderre knew all the ins and outs of the tricky art of politics. He has been working with other Quebec mayors to build leverage with other levels of government, and quietly reinforced the city’s leadership over the larger Montreal area. He was among the first public personalities to denounce the Parti Québécois’s secular charter, which he has vowed to fight by every means – while still forging a good working relationship with the province. When the PQ government announced (on the eve of an election campaign that’s targeting voters outside Montreal) that Quebec City would receive 21/2 times more money than Montreal for infrastructure, Mr. Coderre didn’t make a scene. Placidly but resolutely, he told reporters “No, this is not enough,” but allowed that “it is a basis for negotiation.” In some cases, he’s done even more than what could have been expected. He asked Mr. Côté, his ex-rival for mayor, to act as a special adviser on governance. The non-paying job was gracefully accepted by Mr Côté. Then, Mr. Coderre asked Richard Bergeron, another contender for the mayorship who now sits on city council as head of the opposition party, to mastermind an important project: the covering of a section of the Ville-Marie Expressway that is often described as an open wound in Old Montreal. Mr. Bergeron, a professional urban planner and a long-time proponent of the project, accepted enthusiastically. (Of course, Mr. Coderre’s decision can also be seen as an effort to silence his most vocal opponent, but Mr. Bergeron is no pushover.) In just 100 days, Mr. Coderre has shown the basic stuff of leadership: He’s confident enough to surround himself with strong people, brave enough to make difficult decisions without dithering and capable enough to bring people to work together. After years of despairing about their city, Montrealers are relieved and happy, at least for the moment.


16 December
Aboriginal homeless in Montreal get new help
Homeless who gather at Metro stations targeted for assistance New services by the Société de développement social de Ville-Marie (SDVSM) will now be available in five Metro stations. Three people will patrol the Berri-UQAM, Bonaventure, McGill and Atwater Metro stations and be able to offer much more than socks and juice to homeless aboriginal people. “We are talking about going out there and directing them to shelters where they can get three meals a day, showers, haircut, cleaning services, but also health exams, with Doctors Without Borders, because they usually don’t go to the hospital,” said Damien Silès, general director at the SDSVM.
Montreal digs out of first major snowstorm
(Gazette) Early Sunday afternoon, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre took to Twitter to announce he was touring the city to monitor the cleanup, and encouraged residents to let him know if they spotted any trouble related to either the storm or the municipality’s response to it.
13 December
Montreal will have inspector-general early next year, says Denis Coderre Creating the position requires amending current provincial legislation (CBC) Montreal mayor Denis Coderre says he will create an inspector-general position to act as the city’s corruption watchdog within the first 100 days of his mandate — as promised during his election campaign — but it’s not going to happen before the end of the year. Coderre said creating the position requires amending current provincial legislation, meaning the city will have to wait until the National Assembly reconvenes Feb. 11, 2014.
10 December
Montreal and Quebec anti-corruption squads team up
(CTV) The Montreal and UPAC anti-corruption police units are joining forces to better coordinate resources and share intelligence between the two. The alliance was announced Tuesday at Montreal city hall. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, Public Security Minister Stephane Bergeron and the Minister Responsible for Montreal Jean-Francois Lisee all agreed that integrating Escouade de protection de l’intégrité municipal would make the fight against corruption stronger.
4-5 December
Coderre worried Champlain tolls could spread to other bridges
(CTV) Montreal mayor Denis Coderre is worried that the federal government’s insistence on having tolls on the replacement for the Champlain Bridge could see them spread to every bridge leading to Montreal. His fear comes as the federal government reiterated this week that the price of having the federal government pay for the span is to have tolls for users. “Now you want to to say, ‘OK, let’s have a toll booth.’ We know and you know that if if we start with one, we will go around the whole island,” said Coderre Meanwhile Quebec’s government is pressuring the federal government not to go ahead with tolls on the replacement for the Champlain Bridge, but its pleas are so far falling on deaf ears. Provincial transportation minister Sylvain Gaudreault said Tuesday that it should not be up to Ottawa to make a decision on the toll, at which point federal transportation minister Denis Lebel pointed out that the Champlain Bridge is owned operated by the federal government, so Ottawa has the final say on the matter. Many politicians in Quebec are opposed to tolls, and the minister for Montreal, Jean-Francois Lisée, says Quebecers will continue to explain their point of view.
3 December
Mayor Denis Coderre wants changes to Bill 61
(Montreal Gazette) Mayor Denis Coderre Tuesday argued in favour of a “Montreal clause” giving the city more powers in a bill designed to recoup money overcharged by construction companies. Coderre said the city also feels 100 per cent of any money Bill 61 manages to squeeze out of those companies, under the threat of legal action, should come back to benefit Montreal taxpayers. The idea of the Quebec government holding back 20 per cent to cover administrative and legal costs of the law, as is now proposed, is a non-starter, Coderre told a National Assembly committee studying the bill. For one thing, it should be corrupt firms that pay those costs — not taxpayers, he said.
1 December
Coderre pleased Ottawa is fast-tracking Champlain
But he insists the addition of tolls to the important artery is still up for negotiation Mayor Denis Coderre hailed Ottawa’s promise Sunday to push construction of a new Champlain Bridge forward to 2018 as “a day to rejoice.” But when it comes to the federal infrastructure minister’s insistence there will be tolls on the span, Coderre says not so fast. “If the bridge was closed and we had to build a new bridge, do you think they would say ‘no bridge?’ ” Coderre told reporters at a late afternoon news conference. “It is all part of the negotiation. That’s also politics. Everybody from their own jurisdiction is pushing on their side … It’s a work in progress. Between now and 2018, a lot of things can happen.
28 November
Charles Lapointe resigns amid mounting pressure Mayor Denis Coderre ‘pissed off’ over AG’s report Charles Lapointe, the former head of Tourism Montreal who was heavily criticized in an auditor general’s report on Wednesday, has heeded calls for his resignation as president of Montreal’s arts council. Thursday night, the council issued a statement announcing Lapointe’s decision to leave the position he held since January. The announcement was made only hours after Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre expressed his desire for Lapointe to step aside. The mayor also demanded Jacques Parizien resign from the organizing committee for Montreal’s 375th anniversary — Parizien was president of Tourism Montreal’s board of directors during Lapointe’s time at the head of the organization. … Shortly before Coderre’s scathing comments Thursday afternoon, Parizien resigned from the organizing committee for Montreal’s 375th anniversary. As for Lapointe, the National Assembly adopted a resolution Thursday to force the former Tourism Montreal boss to appear before a committee to explain his lavish spending habits.
18 November
Denis Coderre announces Montreal’s new executive committee Coderre says he wants renewal, appoints opposition councillors to the city’s top committee Montreal mayor Denis Coderre announced the 14 members of his new executive committee Monday afternoon, with some spots going to his opponents. Coderre reached out to Coalition Montréal, which was the party of his rival mayoral candidate Marcel Côté. Coderre named three Coalition Montréal members to the city’s top committee: Russell Copeman, borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Réal Ménard, borough mayor of Hochelaga—Maisonneuve Elsie Lefebvre, city councillor in Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension Coderre could not name Coalition Montréal’s party leader Marcel Côté to the executive committee, since Côté was not elected as a councillor. Instead, Coderre named him as his special advisor, at an annual salary of $1.
14 November
Denis Coderre sworn in as mayor of Montreal
The city’s 44th mayor Denis Coderre says his focus is to restore Montrealers’ pride Denis Coderre said he will put measures in place to eliminate corruption and make Montrealers feel a sense of pride again, as he was sworn in during a ceremony in Old Montreal as the city’s 44th mayor. “I am really proud today to be your mayor. I believe that the time has come to turn the page,” Coderre said, minutes after he was sworn in.
11 November
It’s not over yet:
Les résultats électoraux contestés dans neuf districts à Montréal
La Cour du Québec décidera mardi matin s’il y aura dépouillement judiciaire dans neuf districts montréalais où les résultats des élections municipales sont contestés. Les partis municipaux avaient jusqu’à lundi, 16 h, pour présenter leurs demandes..
6 November
Lysiane Gagnon: Denis Coderre’s asset: low expectations
Despite relatively low turnout at the polls, a smaller than expected victory margin and the lack of a majority of council seats, new Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has at least one asset: He’s starting with low expectations, and if he turns out to be a sensible and efficient mayor, people will be pleasantly surprised. He actually doesn’t mind being underestimated: “Low expectations, high delivery,” he likes to say, quoting his mentor Jean Chrétien, a man who became a successful prime minister against the odds. Coderre veut demander six recomptages (Radio Canada) Le nouveau maire avait déjà annoncé un recomptage pour le district de Saint-Jacques, où son candidat vedette Philippe Schnobb a perdu par 81 votes contre la colistière de Richard Bergeron, Janine Krieber. L’Équipe Coderre veut maintenant demander des recomptages dans Côte-des-Neiges et dans Saint-Michel, où Helen Fotopulos et Claude Bricault ont perdu contre les candidats de Projet Montréal Magda Popeanu et Sylvain Ouellet, ainsi que dans Sault-au-Récollet, où Nathalie Hotte a perdu par 8 voix contre Lorraine Pagé du Groupe Mélanie Joly. Enfin, Équipe Coderre demande deux recomptages dans LaSalle, où les candidats Dino Masanotti et Anju Dhillon ont perdu contre les candidats Josée Troilo et Serge Declos de Manon Barbe
Un bon départ pour Coderre raises some interesting views about the role of the opposition party Le moment était solennel. Lundi, dans le vaste hall de l’hôtel de ville, le maire Denis Coderre donnait son premier point de presse. Richard Bergeron says this was his ‘final election’ Projet Montréal leader will stay on in his role for the next few months
5 November
Denis Coderre outlines his priorities with Quebec government
Montreal mayor-elect Denis Coderre to establish an inspector-general as a way to fight corruption Coderre met Tuesday morning with Quebec’s minister in charge of Montreal, Jean-François Lisée, and described the meeting as positive and productive. “I want to make sure Montreal is respected as a metropolis, and I think the name of the game of our meeting today was respect – mutual respect,” Coderre said. Lisée said if Montreal wants an inspector general, it will get one. He also said he’s hopeful about Montreal’s future, and that Coderre’s election brings a new era for Montreal. Coderre said he will work with all 102 councillors — who were also sworn in Thursday — to put Montreal in the national and international spotlight. “If we do what it takes, if we’re all working together, we will bring back that great metropolis and we will be able to show again what we are made of,” he said. Coderre said the elected officials from his team, Équipe Coderre, will always have a free vote in council, and encouraged councillors from other parties to do the same.
4 November
Compromise in Coderre’s future after narrow win in Montreal (Globe & Mail) His popular support faded compared to early poll results, meaning the longer voters looked at him, the less they liked him. Montrealers drew a new electoral map Sunday that will pose a tough test of Mr. Coderre’s capacity to make peace with opponents – qualities for which he was not famous during six terms as a federal MP. Mr. Coderre’s narrow popular vote win Sunday night, with just under one-third of voters supporting him, masked important defeats on other fronts in Montreal’s unique, multi-layered borough and party system. Mr. Coderre’s party controls a minority of seats on council, which means he will need to coax independent and opposition councillors to support him if he wants to get anything done. Mr. Coderre also failed to gain control of a majority of mayors’ seats in the powerful boroughs which form local neighbourhood governments within the city. When the boroughs and central city don’t get along, everything from budgeting to snow removal to building bike paths becomes extremely difficult.
3 November
word cloud for municipal elections

Denis Coderre elected Montreal’s new mayor

Former federal politician wins municipal election After dominating the polls from the outset, Coderre claimed victory in a tight mayoral race, despite a few surprises from challengers, the resignation of one of his high-profile candidates and the quick-gaining popularity of political newcomer, lawyer Mélanie Joly.

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