Many jabs, no knockouts in Anglo mayoral debate
Top contenders for the mayor's job squared off this evening in an English-language debate heard live on CJAD 800 and seen on CTV Montreal.
Every candidate had well-rehearsed shots for their opponents; few had knockout blows.
Marcel Cote scored big points with Anglophones and Allophones. The Coalition candidate promised to implement an affirmative action program that would run until the city's workforce better reflected the city's diversity; one in two new hires would be a member of a linguistic or cultural minority group. Before embarking on big projects, Montreal needs to get its house in order, Cote said.
Richard Bergeron said there's enough money to clean up City Hall and pay for his big ideas; he was the man with a few plans: Tramways, an East End boardwalk and more. Where the Projet Montreal leader really scored was on corruption - his party is the only to not run candidates from the corrupt ex-Union party. Bergeron stumbled at times, struggling to debate in English; after the event he joked that as a kid from Alma, he would never have imagined debating politics on TV in English.
Denis Coderre, who is running the most candidates from Union, mostly highlighted his record as a Liberal MP and spoke of a "Smart City" with free WIFI for all. "I didn't marry a party," he said, but rather picked candidates who he felt were not tied to corruption.
"You can't surf your way to city hall," Cote said of Coderre, who took the most abuse this evening. "You've been running for three years," with no concrete plans, the Coalition candidate added. "Tell us! Tell us what you want to do!"
Montrealers go to the polls on Nov. 3.
Watch the entire debate here.
photo: CTV Montreal / Cindy Sherwin