Now that the dust has settled in Montreal’s political spectrum, Michael Applebaum has been chosen to steer the city until next November’s election.
Applebaum ran as an independent candidate, beating official Union Montréal candidate Richard Deschamps with 31 votes to 29, with three spoiled ballots in the council’s secret ballot vote last Friday.
Applebaum, the former mayor of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, was sworn in as the 42nd mayor of Montreal yesterday morning. During his first 100 days as mayor, he stated that it will be dedicated to cleaning up the city.
“I will do everything to regain from you that which was stolen through corruption in the construction industry,” he told The Gazette. “I will do everything to regain your confidence and give you back your city.”
In an interview with The Concordian Monday, Applebaum’s press attaché, Jonathan Abecassis stated that, in regards to Applebaum’s election win, “[they] received a lot of overwhelming support, a lot of messages and comments, all feedback that was extremely positive.”
Applebaum is the first anglophone mayor to lead Montreal in the last 100 years. James John Guerin, who served from 1910-12, was the last English resident to serve as mayor.
“Now is the time to re-establish our bridges, to work together and to ensure that Montrealers can be proud of what we do as elected officials,” Applebaum said in council according to CBC News. “We will all work together, I assure you.”
The 49-year-old interim mayor pledges to build bridges by allowing members of opposition on Montreal’s executive committee.
Despite his loss, Applebaum is hoping to get Deschamps to come on board.
“In order for this to work, I would like to see a coalition and that includes Richard Deschamps,” Applebaum said. However, Deschamps has not yet revealed whether or not he’s interested in the offer.
During the interview, Abecassis stated that “[Applebaum and Deschamps] are meeting together as we speak. Applebaum made it clear right away that he wants a coalition of political parties working with him.”
During his candidate and acceptance speech, Applebaum spoke only in French. Abecassis stated that Applebaum understands that Montreal is a french-speaking city, so he will always speak French in council, unless addressed in English. Despite this, many criticisms have been made of his abilities to speak French.
“People understand what he’s saying, he just has an accent,” Abecassis said. “Even one of the leaders of opposition said Applebaum is lucky and she hopes she can speak English as [well] as Applebaum can speak French.”