By Tracey Arial
Richard Langlais, from Vision Montreal and Andrée Champoux, an independent councillor who used to be in Union Montréal, have both applied for authorization from the Directeur général des élections du Québec to set up new parties: Vision Verdun–Équipe Richard Langlais and Équipe Andrée Champoux pour Verdun respectively.
Neither has yet been approved, and local Vision executive members still hope to prevent a major split in their membership.
“Discussions about how we might form an electoral team for the next municipal election are still underway between Vision Montréal and the coalition led by Marcel Côté and represented by Alain Tassé in Verdun,” wrote Vision’s Verdun president André Julien in an e-mail. “The result of these discussions should be known in the coming hours. To date, no one from Vision Montreal in the borough of Verdun has quit to support Richard Langlais.”
Meanwhile, Mary Ann Davis, Projet Montréal’s mayoralty candidate in Verdun began her campaign defending attacks against her English heritage. Criticism against her began after she made an innocuous comment at the mike on Canada Day.
Her comment, “you are all so beautiful and how fortunate are we to have such diversity” led to an unexpected firestorm that the perfectly bilingual union organizer hasn’t had to face before.
“I knew that some people would have a problem with me being gay,” said Davis in an interview. “Others wouldn’t like that I’m a woman. I never imagined being an anglophone would be the same kind of issue.”
Some citizens might give her a hard time for her name, but Projet Montreal’s candidate isn’t likely to face criticism from other parties. Alain Tassé, who is running with the Côté Coalition, is married to an anglophone. Both Jean-François Parenteau, from Équipe Denis Coderre and Richard Langlais from Vision Verdun–Équipe Richard Langlais, are bilingual businessmen with many English-speaking clients.
In fact, many of the candidates known to be running in Verdun are perfectly bilingual. Several come from the anglophone community, including Pierre L’Heureaux, who teaches history at Dawson College and graffiti artist Sterling Downey.
Each party has the right to run seven candidates in Verdun, one person for mayor, two people for city councillors and four people for borough councillors.
Here’s a run-down of known candidates so far:
Candidates for mayor
• Alain Tassé, Coalition Montréal–Marcel Côté Andrée Champoux, Équipe Andrée Champoux pour Verdun
• Jean-François Parenteau, Équipe Denis Coderre
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