Candidates for mayor of Montreal unhappy at being excluded from several debates

The leaders of the Mouvement Montréal and Ralliement pour Montréal parties are furious at not having been invited to several major debates as part of the municipal election campaign.

Thursday, alone Valerie Plante and Denis Coderre took part in the debate organized by Tourisme Montréal. And the scenario will repeat itself next Thursday when the two main candidates will face each other again before the Council of International Relations of Montreal (CORIM), as well as on October 18 before the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM).

Balarama Holness, who heads Mouvement Montreal, believes that Tourisme Montreal has “silenced a plurality of perspectives” by excluding its participation in Thursday’s debate. According to a Léger surveyThe duty published wednesday, Mr. Holness collects 8% of the voting intentions. “8%, that should be enough to be present,” he said, judging that with its 36 candidates, his party represents an alternative to the Plante-Coderre duo. “We have an economic vision for the city of Montreal and we want to go beyond the Act respecting the status of a metropolis. We would like to share our vision with the business sector in front of CORIM and the chamber of commerce, but we cannot do it. “

“I find it small. People are tired of the old parties, but when new voices are heard, we do not consider them credible enough, ”deplores Marc-Antoine Desjardins, leader of the Ralliement pour Montréal, which currently has around thirty. candidates. “I don’t understand this structural snobbery. Even if I only had one candidate, I could be elected mayor of Montreal. Everyone should be there. “

It was not possible on Friday to obtain comments from Tourisme Montréal on this subject.

For its part, CORIM indicates that to participate in their debate, candidates must be able to count on more than 10% of the voting intentions. At the CCMM, in addition to benefiting from more than 10% of support, aspiring mayors must have candidates for at least 75% of the 103 elected positions to be filled. With 8% and 5% of voting intentions respectively, Balarama Holness and Marc-Antoine Desjardins do not qualify for an invitation to these events.

However, they were invited to participate in other debates, including that of Friends of the Mountain which will take place on September 30th. “For us, it was important to have unanimity for Mount Royal. The four parties have already made commitments for the mountain. We want to hear from all the candidates, ”explained Maryline Charbonneau, director of public affairs at Amis de la montagne.

Recall that during the 2013 election campaign, the candidate for mayor of Montreal Mélanie Joly was shunned by the organizers of debates until a poll revealed that she collected 16% of the voting intentions at one month of the ballot. The CCMM, CORIM, Radio-Canada and LCN, which had not invited it to debate, then changed their minds.

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