Sparks fly in fiery French-language Montreal mayoral debate

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Sparks flared between Montreal’s three main mayoral candidates during a fiery French-speaking debate.

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Among the participants were Valérie Plante who leads Projet Montréal and is seeking re-election, Denis Codre, leader of Ensemble Montreal, who served as mayor after losing the 2017 municipal election Plante and newcomer Balram Holnes, head of Mouvement Montreal. I want to get seat.

Valerie Plante’s Projet Montréal was attacked by Ensemble Montreal leader Denis Codre for allegedly waging a war on cars as his party plans to build a bike path.


“All three of us are pro-bikers, but only one party is anti-car and that is Projet Montreal,” Kodre said.

Plante was also in the hot seat for not going ahead with the expansion of the Blue Line and one of his cornerstone campaign promises, the Pink Line, a transit project that would run from downtown Lachine to Montreal-North.

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The candidates also raised questions on the housing policy of the plant.

Plante says their 20-20-20 housing development bylaw is working to build affordable housing in the city.

The strategy requires real estate developers to build social, affordable and family housing.

“That’s not true,” said Denise Codre.

As Plante began to laugh at his statement, Kodre said, “When you’re nervous, you laugh. You’re nervous, stop.”

Plante stopped laughing and replied, “Excuse me?” Kodere once again asked him to stop laughing. “Housing is very important,” he said.

Plante denied with a question. “Because it’s a problem when someone laughs, Mr. Kodre?”

On the Environment, Denise Codre got some shots from Plant who criticized his platform for not being detailed enough on what he would do to tackle climate change.

“How many trees are you planting?” There are no numbers on the stage at Ensemble Montreal, Plante said.

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Things also got heated when they shared views about managing and reorganizing the Montreal Police (SPVM).

Codrere said Plante’s party believes in disarmament of the police at a time when the city’s crime is high and has pushed for what it has done to improve the situation.

Plante accuses Codre of disappearing while mayor and asks what he did.

“And you Mr. Kodre, during the four years when you were mayor…? You left the boat”

Kodrere defended himself, saying he was taking care of his health.

Balram Holnes was attacked for his statement that he would hold a referendum to determine whether Montreal should become a bilingual city.

Both Plante and Codre said this was not acceptable but Holnes defended his position.

“I want to showcase the French language. We recognize that Montreal is a francophone city, but I’m on the side of small businesses, business owners, young people who have legitimate concerns about Bill 96,” Holness said.

Bill 96 is a change by Quebec to its strict French language law.

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The latest poll conducted by Radio-Canada shows Codere and Plante in dead heat, with Coderere with only one percentage point and Balram Holnes in distant third.

The debate will likely help French-speaking voters decide.

Voters will get a chance to hear the candidates in English during the debate on October 28 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

The debate is organized by an English media association, hosted by Granthshala News Morning host Laura Cassella.

It will be broadcast online on

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