Québec Municipal Elections 2013

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lagatta

That is ridiculous - you could read their programmes.

Not a question of laws, but cities can play a major role in urbanism, and in how certain laws are applied. Right now there is a major risk that Hôtel-Dieu will be sold off to speculators to become private condos. And I suspect the same is in the work for the Royal Vic.

lagatta

That is ridiculous - you could read their programmes.

Not a question of laws, but cities can play a major role in urbanism, and in how certain laws are applied. Right now there is a major risk that Hôtel-Dieu will be sold off to speculators to become private condos. And I suspect the same is in the work for the Royal Vic.

janfromthebruce

alan smithee wrote:

As usual,I will not be voting in the municipal elections.

Not out of apathy but because (with the exception of Coderre) I don't know any of the candidates.

The other day I got a call from Bergeron's team asking for my vote...I opened the door to them by saying I don't know where he stands on issues (I don't) but instead they asked if I will vote for him..I said I didn't know and that was the end of the conversation.

The last thing I want to do is vote for someone I don't know just to realize afterward that I voted for some right wing troglodyte.

I guess I'll wait for the provincial elections,atleast they're relevent...Provincial governments can make or break laws...Not sure what municipal governments can do besides financially benefit themselves.

I'm surprised when someone who I consider is engaged would not seek out information, to become informed. In the age of social media and the internet it would seem easy to access information online about the different municipal politicians, their positions on matters, and their prior involvement in said issues, and what stands or positions they took.

In fact, right above is a great article by the Tyee in BC which is a progressive online media talking of Project Montreal and highlighting Bergeron.

Montreal's People-Powered Election

Fed up with city hall corruption, a team of unlikely candidates is running for office. And they just might win.

Although the party is not without its own controversy (Montreal police were recently asked to investigate an anonymous allegation of misuse of public funds, denounced as a smear by some media), Bergeron merely took it as a sign the campaign was going well.

Regardless of whether he takes the mayor's seat, Bergeron's team of candidates has injected an energy into Montreal's city politics in a way not seen in recent years or maybe even decades.

Whereas for the past few years, Canadian cities have been looking to Montreal for examples of what to avoid in running a city, this new crop of candidates might provide some lessons to imitate.

Sure doesn't sound like a "right wing troglodyte" and the Tyee would not give voice to Project Montreal is firstly it didn't see it as a progressive and refreshing change of the same old same old if they thought so.

And here is their webpage - Project Montreal

lagatta

Yes, Projet isn't perfect, and Bergeron has made some reprehensible comments about homeless people - though he rectified the worst on afterwards - but all the other candidates are scions of the Liberal Party. Projet has done great things in my borough: http://projetmontreal.org/oui-video/bilan-des-elus-de-rosemont-la-petite... This is "in French", but there is no sound - just music - and it is easy to understand that they are talking about white roofs, parks and community gardens, traffic calming, bicycle lanes, a new - and very innovative library...

http://projetmontreal.org/oui-video/bilan-des-elus-de-rosemont-la-petite...

DaveW

alan smithee wrote:

As usual,I will not be voting in the municipal elections.

Not out of apathy but because (with the exception of Coderre) I don't know any of the candidates.

Nonsense! To repeat what Lagatta posted above: read their programmes! Attend a meeting!

I did both on the weekend, kicking off with the 4-candidates mayor meeting at Concordia/Loyola. That format suits some, but hurts others. Coté is personally a techocrat, quiet and reflective. You may not like his electoral list, but I think he is personally sincere. In any case, the candidates all arrayed on a stage is not his milieu.

Bergeron, neither. He got some groans about policy for political missteps, again not a natural on stage. A professor-like demeanor, he would be massacred by the media, Joe Clark-like, if ever he were elected mayor.

Coderre was, surprisingly, not pugnacious, and also he was not the subject of others' attacks, as the frontrunner. Melanie Joly, well, she is transparently ambitious, as Le Devoir said Saturday. Headed for federal politics, a Liberal parachute, you watch.

I spent Sunday afternoon with all the party pamphlets and info spread across the dining-room table, then visited all their websites. Surprised myself with some of my new favourites. Then voted at the Mackay Centre on Decarie.

Now, Alan S., be a citizen, for crying out loud ...

 

lagatta

Yes, even when there is nobody I can vote for, I go to spoil my ballot.

It is extraordinary that for the first time in my rather long life, the candidates I voted for last time in federal, Québec and municipal elections are actually in office (Alexandre Boulerice, Françoise David, Projet Montréal team in my borough).

Volunteers may not always be very articulate about the party they represent. Not everyone is used to giving soundbites.

Indeed, Bergeron is not very media-friendly, sadly. He has a certain personality type associated with engineers, some research scientists, other "planners". I wouldn't try to diagnose him or anyone; he does remind me of people I know who have mild Asperger's. Projet Montréal does have many candidates who are more media-friendly. It is a shame that this is such a requirement.

DaveW

lagatta wrote:

Yes, even when there is nobody I can vote for, I go to spoil my ballot.

It is extraordinary that for the first time in my rather long life, the candidates I voted for last time in federal, Québec and municipal elections are actually in office (Alexandre Boulerice, Françoise David, Projet Montréal team in my borough).

yes, lost causes CAN be finally fulfilled

... hence my anger at people talking about never voting or not participating because the candidates are not PRECISELY tailored to their every desire; sheesh, people fought and died  to preserve electoral democracy, use it

Unionist

Whoopsy!

[url=http://journalmetro.com/dossiers/les-elections-municipales-2013/394891/u... Team candidate gets the boot[/url]

Richard Zambito, ex-Union Montréal city councillor (sitting since 1986), was named in a Radio-Canada Enquête story on Tuesday. The usual stuff. Denis Coderre had to turf him (he won't be a candidate at all on Nov. 3), because Denis has a strict zero-tolerance policy for all crooks... who get caught.

 

DaveW

speaking of voting, a report said  that 14 per cent of Mtl voters did so in the advance polls;

sounds like over 50 per cent participation a possibility, so these issues are getting more people's attention ...

Bärlüer

Unionist wrote:

Whoopsy!

[url=http://journalmetro.com/dossiers/les-elections-municipales-2013/394891/u... Team candidate gets the boot[/url]

Richard Zambito, ex-Union Montréal city councillor (sitting since 1986), was named in a Radio-Canada Enquête story on Tuesday. The usual stuff. Denis Coderre had to turf him (he won't be a candidate at all on Nov. 3), because Denis has a strict zero-tolerance policy for all crooks... who get caught.

Funny story: his name is actually Robert Zambito, but in the press release that Coderre sent out, they actually referred to him as Richard... #slowclap #youcantmakethisstuffup

Bärlüer

And he once was a overseas senate candidate for Berlusconi's Forza Italia.

cco

But you see, Unionist, it's all a witch hunt. It's ridiculous to suggest that any of the Reunion Montréal candidates might be corrupt!

Unionist

ETA: I can't personally vouch for all the allegations there - and I'm not even sure that's Line Beauchamp - but I found it lightly amusing.

Unionist

So naughty:

lagatta

Naughty but important...

cco

So, election day is on Sunday. And in my home of Westmount, mayor Peter Trent has already been elected unopposed.

Our councillor, Theodora Samiotis, is mostly known to me for being impossible to reach by either phone or email. (I've had much better luck with my former pre-redistricting councillor Nicole Forbes, to the extent that she's my de facto contact with city hall at this point). She had been challenged by Andrei Jones, who has not only not knocked on my door but about whom I can find absolutely nothing online, but according to the Westmount Independent he withdrew last month (and his campaign photo in said paper appeared to have been taken when he was 12).

So, in contrast to all the Mafia excitement a block east of here, election day chez cco is marked by the utter lack of any election whatsoever. God bless Canada.

NorthReport

Un rapport du DGEQ pointant Denis Coderre refait surface

Denis Coderre... (PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, LA PRESSE)

Agrandir

 

 


http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/politique/201311/01/01-4706042-un-rapp...

lagatta

Not to mention the video of Coderre promising "friendship" to the Hassidic community if they vote for him and reject "division" - division in this case is Ms Mindy Pollack, a young Hassidic woman standing for Projet Montréal.   http://www.radio-canada.ca/sujet/Elections-Montreal-2013/2013/11/01/001-... http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/denis-coderre-video-sparks-critic... The old patronage, clientelistic politics...

No street directions have been changed in Mile-End, the part of the Plateau-Mont-Royal district next to Outremont and the only part where there is a significant Hassidic population.There are just as many one-way streets in Outremont, at least the part where most Hassidim live, as in Mile-End. Coderre's statment is coded language against much-needed traffic-calming measures in both densely-populated boroughs.

The Hassidim are notorious for disregarding municipal regulations and "friendship" or even civility with their non-Hassidic neighbours. The nastiest anti-Hassidic comments by far I've heard are from two Jewish friends, one of whom lives in Outremont and the other in Mile-End... Ms Pollack was trying to improve relations between these different groups.

Unionist

Anyway... too many scandals revealed recently to report. It's not really news any more. The Québec élite, both franco and anglo, is desperately trying to sanitize Coderre at the last minute and get him elected. As Projet Montréal candidate Étienne Coutu tweeted, [url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/11/01/montreal_election_ethics_d... the Toronto Star[/url] finds it strange that La Presse has endorsed Coderre. And of course the Gazette has too. Though both of them pretend to be kind of reluctant and hesitant.

My fear is that Mélanie Joly will get a whole bunch of absolutely undeserved votes.

 

lagatta

Well, at least Le Devoir has endorsed Projet Montréal, but I don't know how many votes that publication can influence.

François Cardinal of La Presse, supposedly all green cities and sustainable development, was quite deplorable in his latest column, as was Josh Freed in the Gazette.

Unionist

Richard Bergeron at Atwater Market with his formidable Sud-Ouest team - this afternoon.

 

 

Unionist

Richard Bergeron is a bit of a crackpot. He also has a past performance as a 9/11 goofball and saying smoking was good for his health. He tends to blurt things out - and then either reiterate them foolishly, or "moderate" them unconvincingly, or apologize for them bizarrely.

None of this stuff reflects the platform of Projet Montréal. Nor does it reflect the public sentiments of the many progressives and activists which support PM.

It would be nice if PM could have found a more consistent, polished, inspiring leader. Or, as some suggest, if they can find a better one after winning power. But this is all we have to work with.

I had some trouble voting for my current MP (Tom Mulcair) after he exhibited his fanatical dedication to Likudist style Israeli interests, especially as reflected in his bullying and suppression of his co-deputy leader Libby Davies - from which she has quite obviously never recovered. Half the things that emerge from his mouth could fit nicely into any neoliberal teleprompts. Yet strategically for electoral reasons - and because the NDP is filled with far better people than he is - I made my choice.

In the case of PM, there are just as many angels and kooks as in any other party. Bergeron is a bit of both. But I'll vote for him with less angst and hesitation than for Mulcair.

Mind you, if I really believed he would ban demonstrations and deport homeless visitors and hand out cigarettes to kindergarten kids... Never mind.

 

jerrym

I am still trying to get a grasp of what has and is happening in Montreal. If he was "a 9/11 goofball" and said "smoking is good for your health", why didn't these warning signs warn the party off picking him as leader? One argument made against not removing him is that it would devastate the party in the election. If at least some of his comments were made over a year ago, why was he not removed then, or, if he was not leader at that point, why was he chosen after making those comments? I would assume that in order to survive there must be a substantial number of members within the party having somewhat similar views. If this is the case, is it possible that their viewpoint might prevail, even if Bergeron is removed after the election?

jerrym

Living in Vancouver, I have virtually no knowledge of Quebec's municipal elections. Nevertheless, I find the following article accusing Projet Montreal's leader Richard Bergeron of allegedly having extremist views against homeless youth from outside the city and banning the anti-police brutality march highly disturbing. If these accusations are true, why would progressives support such leadership?

I find it particularly disturbing in view of my own family history. During the 1840s, my great-great-great grandmother was one of the few survivors of a famine village in County Kerry, Ireland and had to wander homeless for some time. One quarter of the Irish population starved to death and one quarter had to emigrate, many dying in the process. In 1847, more than 30,000 Irish homeless arrived in Toronto, a city of 20,000 at the time. In Quebec, there are more than 5,000 graves of Irish Famine emigrants who died of starvation and illness on Grosse Ile alone. Even in the late 1880s, my grandmother, after, her father and the family donkey died, had to hitch herself, as a teenager, up to a donkey cart, pull it up a 300 foot hill, fill it with peat, and bring it down the hill, or the family would have been thrown off the land by their Anglo-Irish landlords and they would have starved to death. She just managed to keep the farm and it belongs now to my first cousin. On the very hills that my grandmother had to climb, you can still see the rubble of hovels of families from the famine that did not make it. The family in over 100 years has never removed these ruins in honour of their memory. The role of the police in further upholding this system makes me concerned about the proposed ban on the police anti-brutality march.

To see policies allegedly proposed that not only further marginalize the homeless but even attack them for the social ills of Montreal is therefore deeply disturbing to me. In a wealthy country today, we don't even have the supposed excuses of no social system, poor communication and very widespread poverty that was offered up as excuses for what happened in the 19th century. If the accusations made below are true, why is Bergeron still leading the party? Why haven't people resigned in protest? If this is what the 'progressive' community is proposing in this election, I shudder to think what the right-wing will propose in the next. 

 

Quote:

Crucially, all four major mayoral candidates (Bergeron-Coderre-Côté-Joly) and their affiliated coalitions and teams do not question any of the fundamental assumptions about prevailing class and property relations in Montreal. Their differences are particularly superficial in this election.

However, Équipe Bergeron / Team Bergeron (the name chosen by Projet Montreal members for this election) have openly advocated two retrograde measures, at least through the public proclamations of their leader Richard Bergeron, that no other municipal party or politician has felt the urgency or need to put forward.

Specifically, Bergeron has called for: i) the banning of the annual March 15 anti-police brutality march in Montreal; ii) a policy of removing homeless youth who come to Montreal in the summer (a sort of “municipal deportations” policy). Taken in conjunction with Bergeron’s core political positions about the development of downtown Montreal, Projet Montreal is using poor bashing to promote a particular kind of gentrification (with bike lanes and tramways).

 Municipal Deportations

Richard Bergeron believes that if you’re a homeless person, but you come to Montreal in the summer from out-of-town, you should be put on a bus and sent back to where you come from.

In a supposedly open-minded and cosmopolitan Montreal, Bergeron is suggesting a sort of municipal deportations policy, but aimed strictly at homeless or street-involved people who’ve decided to move to Montreal to live and survive, even if for a short time in the summer.

Bergeron is playing the classic politics of divide-and rule, in this case contrasting “deserving homeless” versus “undeserving homeless”, based on your place of origin. He provides absolutely no independent proof of his most basic assertions (like most bigots who target an identifiable and marginalized group of people). Even attempting to enforce his policy will mean more police repression and social profiling (adding the words, “what’s your home town” to the litany of harassing questions Montreal police will inevitably ask people under such a policy).

Bergeron first expressed his views in a recorded interview with TVA on August 2, 2012 (more than one year prior to the current election). In the TVA report, notorious Montreal property owner and developer, Peter Sergakis, describes personally attacking a squeegee youth outside one of his ubiquitous downtown bars. In Bergeron’s appearance in the report, he doesn’t denounce poor bashing or Sergakis’ actions – let alone Sergakis’ role in the hyper-gentrification of Montreal -- but rather states the following:

«Vis-à-vis de ceux-là, moi, maire de Montréal, il n'y aura pas de discussions. Je vais faire ce qu'on a fait à Toronto, ce qui a été fait à New York, c'est-à-dire , [on leur donne] un billet d'autobus. Vous retournez chez vous, on ne veut plus vous accueillir à Montréal, été après été. Montréal n'est pas une colonie de vacances.» [“Regarding all of this, me, as Mayor of Montreal, there will be no discussion. I'm going to do what was done in Toronto, what was done in New York, that's to say [they are given] a bus ticket. You go back home, and we no longer want to welcome you to Montreal, summer after summer. Montreal is not a vacation colony.”]

 

(The TVA report is linked here:http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/infos/faitsdivers/archives/2012/08/20120802-125810.html) ... 

In the early stages of the election campaign, many people reposted the L’Itinéraire article via social media (including this writer), and many on the political left learned about Bergeron’s bigoted view for the first time. Instead of clearly denouncing Bergeron’s remarks, several Projet Montreal candidates and supporters provided excuses, ranging from Bergeron being awkward to justifying Bergeron’s original flawed rationale.

Projet Montreal itself issued a statement, one year after the original remarks. The statement is supposed to soften Bergeron’s original comments, but just serve to make things worse, reinforcing the social profiling and repression of a certain category of homeless people. Some highlights from the clarification include the following:

“Richard Bergeron faisait directement référence à un petit groupe d'itinérants connu pour sa violence près de la station Beaudry. Des gens identifiés comme provenant des États-Uniset des autres provinces canadiennes qui vandalisaient le quartier Centre-Sud, intimidaient les passants et harcelaient les commerçants. Rien ne justifie que Montréal tolère ce genre de comportement.” [“Richard Bergeron was making direct reference to a small group of homeless known for its violence near Beaudry metro station. People identified as coming from the United States and other Canadian provinces were vandalizing the Centre-Sud neighborhood, intimidating passers-by and harassing storeowners. Nothing justifies that Montreal tolerate this kind of behavior.”]

“Bref, Richard Bergeron n'a jamais réclamé qu'on balaie l'itinérance. Il a plutôt réclamé qu'on intervienne promptement contre les actes violents et le vandalisme commis par des étrangers qui, de surcroît, rejettent les services d'aide qui leur sont offert.” [“In short, Richard Bergeron has never claimed to clean-up the homeless. Instead, he asks that that we intervene promptly against the violence and vandalism committed by foreigners who, moreover, reject the support services that are available to them."

 

(Both quotes are from here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/fran%C3%A7ois-ld/richard-bergeron-na-jamais-souhait%C3%A9-la-r%C3%A9pression-de-litin%C3%A9rance/453710841402489)

 

The reference to a group of homeless people near métro Beaudry is telling, since the area is one of the flashpoints in downtown Montreal for growing gentrification, with high-end bars, clubs and cafés, as well as expensive condominiums, displacing working class and poor people and driving up rents. Local business people encourage the police to practice social profiling and repression (which has included targeting sex workers and street-involved people for police harassment). Projet Montreal is simply repeating class-based stereotypes of the homeless people in the neighborhood.

And yes, the translation of the word “étranger” in the second citation is “foreigner.”

To make matters worse, Bergeron spoke out again on this subject on October 25, more than two months after the Projet Montréal clarification of the original remarks; Bergeron couldn’t have been clearer:

Question: “Cela fait plusieurs années que vous dites vouloir expulser de la ville un certain groupe d’itinérants. Pouvez-vous expliquer votre position?” [“It’s been many years that you’ve said that you want to remove from the city a certain group of homeless people. Can you explain your position?”]

Bergeron’s reply: “Que ce soit clair: je souhaite qu’on vienne en aide aux itinérants qui sont originaires d’ici. Je m’oppose toutefois à l’arrivée massive, durant l’été, de groupes venus d’autres grandes villes. Ces individus n’ont pas leur place ici, la coupe déborde, je veux qu’on leur donne un billet d’autobus et qu’ils partent.” [“Let me be clear: I want that we come to the aid of homeless people who are from here. However, I am opposed to the massive influx, during the summer, of groups from other major cities. These individuals have no place here, the cup is overflowing, I want to give them a bus ticket and that they leave."

 

(The original interview is linked here: http://journalmetro.com/dossiers/les-elections-municipales-2013/390123/metro-dans-le-metro-avec-richard-bergeron/

Banning the March 15 anti-police brutality march

On at least two separate occasions during the current election campaign, Richard Bergeron has publicly expressed that he would ban the annual March 15 anti-police brutality march.

On September 28, Bergeron gave an extended interview to CHOI FM in Montreal (right-wing talk radio, also known “Radio X”, also known as “Radio Poubelle” or Garbage Radio). During the interview, Bergeron expresses the following:

- as Mayor he will defend “his police”;

- he liked the testimony of Montreal police chief Marc Parent at the special commission on the events of spring 2012, the Quebec student strike;

- he claims (falsely) that the anti-protest P6 bylaw was not used in 2012;

- he describes the anti-police brutality demo of March 15 as a “black bloc” demo;

- he promises to ban the Montreal anti-police brutality demonstration and repeats, when asked again, that it’s “certain” he will ban the demo as Mayor.

 

(The Radio X interview is linked here:

http://montreal.radiox.com/emission/le_retour_de_radio_x/article/gendron_et_bergeron_ont_des_points_communs

 

(AnarchoPanda, who was critical of Bergeron’s remarks, has provided an online summary, in French, here: https://www.facebook.com/Anarchopanda/posts/420279658083915)

 

Essentially, Bergeron unhesitatingly uses false stereotypes and information about radical demonstrators that provides political cover when police attack protesters.

 

There was a pushback by Bergeron sympathizers and supporters, not to clearly distance themselves from Bergeron remarks, but rather to provide excuses (like the excuses for Bergeron’s policy of municipal deportations for out-of-town homeless youth). Online, via social media, Projet Montreal candidates and paid campaign workers, as well as volunteers and supporters, all touted the same talking point: Projet Montreal is the only municipal party to have voted against the anti-protest municipal by-law P-6.

 

It’s annoying that many Projet Montreal supporters continually ignore, or marginalize, the grassroots efforts to oppose P6 (which involve openly defying the bylaw, often at the risk of more arrests and tickets). One such effort, involving over 75 community groups, is described here: http://www.clac-montreal.net/en/against-P6.

 

More importantly, the assertions by many Projet Montreal supporters about opposing P-6 aren’t totally accurate. Projet Montreal councilors (as well as other councilors) voted against certain provisions of the bylaw that were introduced in May 2012 (which increased the total fine for a P-6 violation, fined mask-wearing, and obliged demo organizers to share their demo routes with police in advance, who provide final approval), but not the entirety of the by-law that’s existed for decades. The “old P-6” was and is used regularly by the police to stop and detain demonstrators for “illegal assembly”, only to release them later with tickets.

 

One provision of the previous P-6 bylaw that would remain, even if Projet Montreal had succeeded in changing certain by-law provisions, is the disturbing clause that allows City Hall to ban demonstrations. And Projet Montreal’s mayoral candidate is the only one who has publicly expressed that he would actually use P-6 to ban a demonstration.

 

The day after Bergeron’s interview on Radio X, a more left-leaning web-based media outlet (with clear sympathies with Projet Montréal and the NDP) - Forget the Box - fast-tracked the publication of an excerpt of an interview with Bergeron (at least the parts about P-6 and the anti-police brutality march). The interview was also translated into both English and French and widely shared via social media, as some sort of antidote to the crude Radio X interview.

 

(The Forget the Box interview excerpt is linked here: http://www.forgetthebox.net/richard-bergeron-on-p-6-and-the-anti-police-brutality-march/)

 

The interview was not recorded, and was based on written notes by the reporter. The full interview was just published today, November 2, on election eve (linked here: http://www.forgetthebox.net/your-city-your-candidates-richard-bergeron/).

 

The Forget the Box interview excerpt, shared by Bergeron apologists, is again supposed to soften the edges of Bergeron’s original remarks. What it does show is that Bergeron will say different things to different audiences – pro-cop for right-wing Radio X, less pro-cop for left-wing Forget the Box – and act exactly like the other two-faced politicians running for Mayor.

 

If there was any doubt about what Bergeron really thinks, his comments to Université de Montréal students on October 15 clears the air. As reported by Métro, Bergeron stated the following to the students:

 

« Si je suis maire, je vais consulter les organisateurs, voir comment éviter les dérapages. S’ils me disent “va te faire foutre Bergeron”, je devrai alors me prévaloir de mon pouvoir dela rendre illégale.» ["If I’m Mayor, I will consult the organizers and see how to avoid misconduct. If they tell me, “Bergeron, go fuck yourself,” then I will use my power to make it illegal.”]

 

(original article linked here: http://journalmetro.com/dossiers/les-elections-municipales-2013/387223/les-etudiants-de-ludem-decus-de-bergeron/)

 

So, while Projet Montreal opposes the part of P-6 that obliges demonstrators to get their demo route approved by the police, Mayoral candidate Bergeron insists that the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP http://cobp.resist.ca/en)negotiate with him before approving the demo, pretty much guaranteeing a clear “va te faire foutre Bergeron” from anti-police brutality organizers in Montreal from the get-go.

 

The “Bergeron, go fuck yourself” efforts seem to have started autonomously, with this writer observing (well after-the-fact, of course) at least five Bergeron election signs covered with the letters “COBP” in black spray paint.

 

 

Gentrification with Bike Lanes and Trams

 

Disturbingly, Bergeron’s bigoted and intolerant views - removing certain homeless “foreigners” and banning the annual anti-police brutality demonstration - synergizes with his core vision of city development.

 

During an election debate hosted by the Institut du Nouveau Monde on August 16, Bergeron spoke about his admiration for the West End of Vancouver, as a neighborhood where families still live within a downtown setting. This has been a recurrent campaign theme, and Vancouver’s West End and other European equivalents are Bergeron models for Montreal. It’s a core Richard Florida urban planning idea of the kind of “creative” people needed to re-invigorate (ie. gentrify) city centers; including all those Concordia and McGill university professors and grad students uncritically supporting Bergeron.

 

Bergeron, a Montreal urban planner and downtown condo owner, promotes an expensive, corporate, overpriced Vancouver neighborhood where families can live, but only if they have higher-end salaries commensurate with high-end professionals and business people, not the working class or poor.

 

To make city neighborhoods attractive to yuppies in terms of lifestyle, Bergeron and his party promote bike lanes and dog parks, all protected by police (“his police”), with “public” bikes accessible by credit card. It’s all supposed to be free from the messiness associated with certain kinds of homeless folks, or notorious demonstrations (or even loud medium-sized show venues, as grassroots music acts in the Plateau have learned).

 

In this context, Bergeron’s regressive views about homeless “foreigners” and anti-police brutality “black bloc” protesters is consistent with Projet Montreal’s overall urban planning vision. Bergeron’s remarks are coherent as part of a larger strategy of gentrification that he and his party promote, actively and passively (what one Projet Montreal candidate described in a community radio interview as “the good kind of gentrification”, meaning expensive West End Vancouver, not ultra-expensive West Vancouver, the equivalent of Westmount).

 

Much more can be written about the abundance of contradictions and retrograde positions of the other candidates and parties, including Coderre, Côté and Joly. But for the most part, Montreal-area “progressives” aren’t touting any of those people as an alternative, and aren’t trying to mobilize people to vote for them, which is not the case when it comes to Projet Montreal (tellingly, neither Coderre, Côté nor Joly have pro-actively talked about banning demonstrations or removing certain kinds of homeless people).

 

What’s most telling is that none of the so-called progressive candidates or volunteers within Projet Montreal has taken the principled stand to publicly and clearly distance themselves from Bergeron’s most noxious remarks, and some even act as his public defender and spin-doctor.

 

All in all, it’s an interesting compact case study in the overall regressive role played by certain “progressives” when they engage electoral politics, even at the municipal level.

 

-- Jaggi Singh, 

member of Solidarity Across Borders and the Assemblée populaire et autonome (APAQ) de Villeray.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/jaggi-singh/some-reminders-about-équipe-bergeron-and-projet-montréal/10151657227626946

sherpa-finn

Its all academic now ... early results indicate Coderre wins mayoralty and Bergeron does not even get a councillors seat.

Unionist

Jerry - let's talk about it some other time. You have some deep misperceptions as to how parties operate at the municipal level here. Oh, and I personally don't think much of robotized parties that deep-six someone who is human and makes some bizarre comments or has some oddball opinions. You know - like the Liberal Party dumping Lesley Hughes, or the NDP shitting on Dana Larsen. And you haven't responded to my points about Mulcair's thuggish regressive views and actions as recited above. So just let me try to digest the election results as they come in.

Unionist, yesterday wrote:
My fear is that Mélanie Joly will get a whole bunch of absolutely undeserved votes.

Yeah, I was hoping to jinx that by saying it, but it happened anyway. This businesswoman, friend of Justin Trudeau and his neoliberal politics, is running a sliver ahead of Richard Bergeron, much to the apparent shock of the MSM pundits, who in the absence of polls (there haven't been any for 3 weeks) are utterly lacking in the intelligence or even guts to make predictions.

So the shitty Coderre will be mayor, with about 32% of the popular vote, which Joly and Bergeron each have about 26% right now. The marginally better news is that Coderre's ex-Union Montréal band of thieves look as if they won't have a clear majority on council. Also, lots of good Projet Montréal folks are being elected or re-elected, notably Mayor Luc Ferrandez in the Plateau borough and Mayor François Croteau in Rosemont-Petite Patrie borough. And PM is leading in all council positions in Sud-Ouest.

Anyway, it's bad news for Richard Bergeron personally - not sure if he will win his own council seat yet - he doesn't deserve this after so many years of dedicated and highly-regarded activism.

All the results, across the province, as they come in can be found [url=http://www.cbc.ca/montreal/features/municipal-elections-2013/results/]he....

ETA: Oh... and just heard that Louise Harel, leader of Vision Montréal (and ex-longtime PQ MNA), who decided not to run for mayor this time but (incomprehensibly) throw her support to that dud Marcel Côté, may have lost her own council seat in Sainte-Marie. I'm sorry for her. She was always a good ally of the workers in the old days.

ETA squared: And saving grace - notwithstanding her stellar rise to mayoral potential, it looks as if Mélanie Joly won't be winning a council seat. Nor will the unlamented leader of Coalition (I forget the name of it) Marcel Côté. Montréal politics is a magnificent obsession.

 

janfromthebruce

Following on twitter and saw this so I thought it was quite different than what was said above:

Bergeron behind by 149 votes in his district (57/71) Joly back 412 (35/80) Côté losing by 300 (33/63) and Harel back 228 (60/67) #mtl13

Unionist

janfromthebruce wrote:

Following on twitter and saw this so I thought it was quite different than what was said above:

Bergeron behind by 149 votes in his district (57/71) Joly back 412 (35/80) Côté losing by 300 (33/63) and Harel back 228 (60/67) #mtl13

That's exactly what I said - that they all may end up without council seats - so what exactly is "quite different"?

janfromthebruce

Bergeron is ahead in his seat now and way ahead of Joly.

Unionist

Now for a bit of good news.

Mindy Pollak is 24 years old. She's a Hassidic Jew (everyone says she is the first Hassidic Jewish woman to run for office in Canada - may be true). She actually belongs to the Vishnitzer Hassidic sect, which like many (not all) others is anti-Zionist.

And she's got a commanding lead in her city council race in Claude-Ryan district of Outremont borough (39% to 26% for her closest rival).

Oh - she's with Projet Montréal, of course.

I love politics in Québec.

 

cco

While I'm sure she'll have plenty of opportunity to affect Canadian and Israeli policy about Zionism on city council, I'm trying to contain my excitement at council getting a fundamentalist representative who believes unmarried men and women should have no physical contact.

I guess now we'll get to see whether Coderre makes good on his threat, though.

bekayne

This has to be some sort of Canadian electoral record:

Electoral district of Loyola23.48 %Jeremy SearleIndépendant19.03 %Christian ArseneaultProjet Montréal - Équipe Bergeron17.21 %Kashmir Singh RandhawaVrai changement pour Montréal - Groupe Mélanie Joly16.82 %Ruth RosenfieldÉquipe Denis Coderre pour Montréal16.46 %Margaret FordCoalition Montréal - Marcel Côté5.65 %George PentsosIndépendant1.36 %Deborah Rankin

cco

For what, lowest percentage that still achieved a victory? I think I remember seeing federal numbers like that in a riding or two from back in the 5-party days, but I don't have any of them to hand. You may very well be right.

cco

Alright, I'm confused:

Quote:
Projet Montreal leader, Richard Bergeron, failed in his mayoral bid, but may still have a way onto council after Janine Krieber, Bergeron's candidate designate, won her race in Montreal's Ville-Marie borough by an unofficial margin of 48 votes. Bergeron said he will decide with Krieber within the next 12 days who will take the council seat

Stepping down to allow a by-election is one thing, but do the rules of QC municipal elections allow Krieber to just pass her electoral victory off to Bergeron?

(Also, is this the same Janine Krieber who's married to Stéphane Dion?)

Unionist

Yes and yes.

Krieber is Bergeron's "co-listière", or running mate. That allows him to run for mayor and council at the same time.

And nice gratuitous slam against Mindy Pollak. If you're concerned about extra-marital sex restrictions, maybe we should also subject Catholic and Muslim candidates to pop quizzes as to their personal opinions about it, as well as abortion, divorce, contraception, homosexuality, ... Unless of course Ms. Pollak had made bans on sex part of her platform, which I may have missed.

lagatta

Unionist, I think cco wasn't referring to sex, but to the fact that Ms Pollack, like many Hassidim of both sexes, does not shake hands with persons of the opposite sex who aren't family members (by blood or marriage).

I had my own hesitations with respect to her candidacy, but came to think it was a good thing if Hassidic women could be involved in the public sphere; she had been involved in initiatives to improve relations between the Hassidic communities and non-Hassids in that part of Outremont. There were serious problems with non-respect of municipal regulations and simple civic behaviour by some Hassids and Hassidic institutions, but trying to overcome these is a positive thing.

I detest fundamentalist religion, whatever the faith, but we can't judge a candidate without listening to her actual positions. One of the worst things the Hassidic leadership (like many religious and etnic élites) does is deliver a block vote of their constituents. In Outremont, the promised block vote was to Coderre (of course) and the latter sleazy old pol was referring to Ms Pollack when talking about "divisions" and making "friendship" with the community conditional on their unity behind Coderre.

As for Bergeron, since Projet was largely his brainchild, it was hard to "dump" him, but the outcome of the election could make it easier to sideline him as a spokesperson, while drawing upon his very detailed expertise in urban planning and vision of same. Bergeron has a personality like a lot of engineers and other "nerds". It would be stupid to pretend to "diagnose" such personalities, but they seem akin in some ways to Asperger's, or simply an incapacity for easy social relations. Coderre is the other extreme, and his "personality type" upsets me even more!

I'm amused and pleased that Luc Ferrandez, the bête noire of carheads everywhere, actually improved his score in the Plateau. Bergeron's last colistière was also "the wife of" a well-known political figure. Nima Machouf, spouse of Amir Khadir. Both these women are active in their own right, of course.

My Projet mayor, François Croteau, was also elected by a large margin.

Video in La Presse:

http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/elections-municipales-2013/201311/04/0...

adma

bekayne wrote:

This has to be some sort of Canadian electoral record:

Electoral district of Loyola23.48 %Jeremy SearleIndépendant19.03 %Christian ArseneaultProjet Montréal - Équipe Bergeron17.21 %Kashmir Singh RandhawaVrai changement pour Montréal - Groupe Mélanie Joly16.82 %Ruth RosenfieldÉquipe Denis Coderre pour Montréal16.46 %Margaret FordCoalition Montréal - Marcel Côté5.65 %George PentsosIndépendant1.36 %Deborah Rankin

 

In Ward 10 in Toronto in 2010, James Pasternak won with 19.15% of the vote.

Unionist

lagatta wrote:

Unionist, I think cco wasn't referring to sex, but to the fact that Ms Pollack, like many Hassidim of both sexes, does not shake hands with persons of the opposite sex who aren't family members (by blood or marriage).

So what? Who cares? Whom does it hurt? I know people who don't shake hands for reasons of hygiene (they often touch elbows instead). Sounds like a good idea to me! I don't know where your hands have been!

lagatta wrote:
I detest fundamentalist religion, whatever the faith, but we can't judge a candidate without listening to her actual positions.

Personally, I detest religion of all kinds. The word "fundamentalist" is precisely as scientific as "terrorist". It's prejudicial and meaningless. We should judge people by their actions, not by their personal beliefs.

For example, let's say someone puts pressure on their children not to marry outside their faith. In my book, that makes them xenophobes in desperate need of rehabilitation. But does it make them "fundamentalists", in your definition?

 

cco

I hadn't known about the colistière thing. (Also, I asked if Krieber was "married to" Dion, not "the wife of" Dion. A small difference semantically, perhaps, but the only reason I asked was that I wanted to know if she was the Janine Krieber I'd met a few years ago, not to pigeonhole her as a stalking-horse for the Clarity Act.)

As far as Pollak goes, lagatta is correct re: shaking hands.

ETA: I've tried (today and in the past) looking up Pollak's positions, but all I could find is that she's in favour of "bridging the gap" between the Hasidic community and the rest of Outremont, against the Charter, against Pierre Lacerte, and against shaking hands with men. Presumably as a PM candidate she's also opposed to P-6, and it's probably a safe bet that she's not in bed with the mob, so I suppose that's a step up.

And yes, if a fundamentalist Mormon man ran for city council while holding anti-choice views and refusing to touch certain groups for religious reasons, I would be less than thrilled about that as well, even though city council has just as much say in abortion policy as it has in Zionism.

There have been many famous progressives with retrograde religious views -- William Jennings Bryan, for example, the grandfather of American progressivism, who fought against poverty and imperialism while campaigning to lock up science teachers and anyone who enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner. I wouldn't be so excited about having him on city council, either.

That said, Pollak has accomplished something remarkable with her victory, and she's irritated Coderre while doing it, which by definition brings a smile to my face. Let's see how she does on council.

Wilf Day

Unionist wrote:
I love politics in Québec.

Tell us more. I see the Orange wave taking root across Quebec. Craig Sauvé, Alexander Norris, Christine Gosselin, Sophie Thiébaut, and many more. Plus winners from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to Val D'Or.

nicky

Bekane's comment in #82 above brings to mind this weird result from from the 1944 Quebec provincial election, incidentally the only time the CCF or NDP ever won in Quebec until Phil Edmonstone:

Rouyn-Noranda

CCF   2100  21.0%

Bloq Populaire 1850  18.5

Lib 1753  17.6

Union Nationale 1643  16.5

Credit Sociale 1411  14.1

Ind Lib 1263  11.7

Ind Lib      52   0.5

Ind     14    0.1

 

http://www.quebecpolitique.com/elections-et-referendums/circonscriptions/elections-dans-rouyn-noranda/

Unionist

Magda Popeanu (Projet Montréal) has narrowly (77 votes) beat Helen Fotopoulos (Coderre's team) in Côte-des-Neiges. Will wonders never cease!?

 

Stockholm

Its interesting that a gazillion years ago Helen Fotopoulos and Marvin Rotrand were original activists with the MCM - which was more or less the 1970s and early 80s equivalent of Projet Montreal today...but both eventually morphed into ebing part of Gerald Tremblay's party...

lagatta

Yes, I hate people like that.

cco

Exposition scientifique du Denis Coderre

Now Sunday's results are making a whole lot more sense. Coderre is clearly an alien plant. Has anyone checked his eyes for mysterious dark fluids yet?

Unionist

He's talking right now to Bernard Saint-Laurent on CBC Radio Noon.

 

Unionist

Richard Bergeron will take his council seat for a transitional period of 18-24 months - but he won't run again for mayor.

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Projet+Montr%C3%A9al+leader+Richard+...

ETA: He just said 12-24 months...

nicky

This table makes it clear that Bregeron's mayoralty vote ran considerably behind his party's  vote for the borough mayors and for city council:

http://canadianelectionatlas.blogspot.ca/

PartyMayoral candidateMayoral vote%Borough mayor vote*%Council vote**%Total seatsEquipe CoderreDenis Coderre149,46732.15141,59330.86134,17029.4326Projet MontrealRichard Bergeron118,63725.52134,49829.32133,94429.3820Coalition MontrealMarcel Cote59,49012.7983,47818.2085,35118.726Vrai changementMelanie Joly123,06226.4753,96911.7658,89012.924

lagatta

I was out - I'll see if I can listen to the Radio-Noon segment on the Internet (they don't put everything online).

Edited to add: Yes, it is online. Thanks! http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/richard-bergeron-says-this-was-hi...

I'm not surprised - Bergeron seemed a bit discouraged, despite the much increased showing for Projet on council. It must have been annoying seeing Joli copying whole planks of the PM programme - with no capacity or real political will to follow through on them.

Projet haven't updated their website since the election - they should have put something about their new Council delegation.

Unionist

nicky wrote:

This table makes it clear that Bregeron's mayoralty vote ran considerably behind his party's  vote for the borough mayors and for city council:

The sole reason for that is the Joly factor. She's young, female, attractive, and unconnected with the old corrupt machines (at least, in the public eye). You'll note that her huge mayoral vote translated into nothing for her team - the gap between her percentage and theirs was about 14 percentage points, from your table - whereas in Bergeron's case, the gap was less than 4 percentage points. Joly stole Bergeron's votes. Simple as that.

 

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