Mayoral frontrunner Denis Coderre said he won't apologize for comments that were leaked inn online video last night.
In the video, Coderre tells a group of Hasidic Jews that if they want his friendship and support, they should not split the vote.
He added he doesn't need division.
Reaction has been swift and predictably divided along partisan lines.
Projet Montreal city council candidate Craig Sauve said the comments show that Doderre wasn't interested in representing people who didn't vote for him.
"I don't think we should engage with other communities or different groups from a position of power and threaten them saying, 'If you don't support us, then I'm not going to be there for you."
Projet Montreal leader Richard Bergeron described his comments as "Just a new aspect of what is old politics: it's a negotiation in a closed room with each specific group, each community," he said. "If you vote for me, I will give you something. If you don't vote for me, just forget me. And I will forget you."
Melanie Joly said, "That's not the way I will ever do business. This is so old politics."
However, Coderre said he won't apologize, saying that he was simply urging community leaders to elect his whole slate - and not divide their vote between himself as mayor and city or borough councillors from different parties.
"It wasn't a threat," he said. "I didn't put up a team for nothing. I was promoting my team, it was an act of solidarity."