City Hall Update: Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles by-election underway

This last weekend marked the official beginning of campaigning in the Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles by-election to choose a new borough mayor. The candidate nomination period is open until May 7th, though the three main parties have already chosen their respective candidates. All three candidates are women, virtually ensuring that the next mayor will be a woman. This will be a welcome change given that current only 4 out of Montréal’s 19 boroughs are lead by women mayors. The candidates now have little over a month to make their case before the June 6th election.

Here’s a quick look at the main contenders:

Union Montréal – Barbara Pisani

A businesswoman of Italian origin, this is Pisani’s first run for political office. She is currently an executive at Protection SBCO, a company specialising in earthquake protection technology. Other than her professional experience she has also been involved in various Italian-Canadian business associations, as well as the Canada Africa Community Health Alliance. She is a resident of Saint-Laurent, though was born and raised in Rivière-des-Prairies.


Vision Montréal – Chantal Rouleau

This is Rouleau’s second time running for the borough mayorship, having narrowly lost to the Union candidate during last fall’s general election. The party nomination was hotly contested with four possible candidates facing off at a nomination meeting attended by over 300 people. After two rounds of voting, Rouleau was selected as the party’s candidate. Before running for office Rouleau worked extensively on issues around the restauration of the Saint-Laurence River, including coordinating the Comité ZIP Jacques-Cartier and implementing the Réseau bleu project with the Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal.



Projet Montréal – Colette Paul

A lawyer by training, Paul is a veteran of local politics. She served as city councillor for Pointe-aux-Trembles from 1994 to 2005 as a Vision councillor and was for five years she chaired the City’s finance committee. She was also chair of the Pointe-aux-Trembles neighbourhood council, the pre-merger predecessor of our current borough councils. Before being elected to City Council she also served as a school board commissioner for 7 years.


  1. Chantal Rouleau sure looks a lot like Anne Murray.

  2. So the left-wing party is runnigng a former Bourque councillor (never voted once with the left) and Catholic School Commisioner, while Bourque’s old party is running and environemntal activist.
    These parties make it easy for us to tell them apart!

  3. @singlestar: When Harel took over Vision she cleaned up shop and reshaped the party to her own image. She kicked out a few sitting councillors (most notably Line Hamel and to a lesser extent Lyn Thériault who got demoted) and most of the new people she recruited came from her PQ networks and tend to be reasonably progressive people (I’m thinking Caroline Bourgeois, Élsie Lefebvre, Véronique Fournier, amongst others). Harel managed to make the party somersault over Union in terms of right/left spectrum. That said, there are some old Bourque era people still hanging around.

    So it isn’t unreasonable that a PQ-leaning person from the community sector would choose to run with Vision, but it does go to show how much parties tend to be “des coquilles vides” whose orientation is unilaterally determined by their leader.

    Regarding the Projet Montréal candidate, yeah I’m not sure what’s up with that. Road to Damascus conversion? I dunno. Bourque was responsible for some green initiatives (creation of the éco-quartiers for instance) but he definitely was an enemy of more open, democratic city government. Ms Paul isn’t the only former Vision person with PM now; there’s also Pierre Gagnier the mayor of Ahunstic Cartierville, and Pierre Mainville the councillor for Sainte-Marie. They’re both appreciated in their districts for being really hard working and present, but I kind of scratch my head about how that works out for everybody ideologically. Projet Montréal is by far the most idea-driven party that we’ve seen in the past 20 years in Montreal, but even there there is a surprising amount of….flexibility.

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