Another municipal candidate quits Balarama Holness's Mouvement Montréal

·2 min read
Mayoral candidate Balarama Holness couldn't persuade all of Ralliement pour Montréal's candidates to support him. ( Jérôme Labbé/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Mayoral candidate Balarama Holness couldn't persuade all of Ralliement pour Montréal's candidates to support him. ( Jérôme Labbé/Radio-Canada - image credit)

The blending of Mouvement Montréal and Ralliement pour Montréal continues to be a point of contention among candidates.

Jean-Pierre Boivin, who is running in the Champlain—Île-des-Soeurs district of the Verdun borough is the latest candidate to abandon the party because of Mouvement Montréal's stance on the city's official languages.

Party leader Balarama Holness says if he's elected mayor, he will hold a one-year public consultation on the use of English and French in public and private institutions, followed by a referendum on the linguistic status of Montreal.

"That was enough," Boivin told Radio-Canada's Tout un Matin. "Some say [Holness] will only call for it during a second mandate, but just putting the idea out there is creating division."

Boivin says he questions what incentive allophones would have to learn French if English becomes an official Montreal language.

"Yes, it's French in Quebec… but that doesn't stop us from offering services to anglophones," he said. "We need to offer services in French first and, in areas where there's a certain need, [offer services] in English to insist on people speaking French."

Although it's too late for Boivin to officially change banners, he says he is running as an independent candidate.

Should a referendum be held and the city's status changed, Holness says he would expect the provincial government to respect the vote and approve a modification to the city's charter, which identifies Montreal as a French-speaking city in the first article.

Other candidates have also severed ties with Mouvement Montréal because of the party seeking to make the city officially bilingual.

The day after the two parties announced they were joining forces, former Ralliement Montréal candidates Jean-François Cloutier and Brigitte Lamoureux decided to drop out of their campaigns.

But most Ralliement pour Montréal candidates, including activist Patricia Tulasne and borough councillor Lili-Anne Tremblay, who is now campaigning to become borough mayor of Saint-Léonard, chose to stay.

Officially, Mouvement Montréal has 74 candidates running in Montreal's 19 boroughs.

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