Denis Coderre, Valérie Plante talk culture at candidate’s forum

It wasn’t quite a debate, but the two leading candidates for Mayor took part tonight in a forum at Monument National.  The two candidates never shared a stage, but instead took turns discussing, entirely in French, their competing visions for the promotion of culture in Montreal.

Both candidates agreed that culture is a vital element of Montreal’s unique identity in Canada and around the world.  As Valérie Plante explained, Projet Montréal’s vision focusses primarily on promoting local artists within the city.  She highlighted her party’s proposal to add $5 million to the Conseil des arts de Montréal’s budget — which is currently $15 million.  Plante also spoke about her goal to make the taxpayer funding of cultural events more transparent, starting with the 375th celebrations.

For his part, Denis Coderre highlighted the money his administration spent this year on the 375th and suggested that he wants his focus to be on promoting major cultural festivals, like the JazzFest, that draw thousands of tourists to Montreal every year.

Plante and Coderre both appeared onstage alongside city council candidates from their party.  Plante was joined by the Projet Montréal candidate for the city council district of Vieux-Rosemont, Christine Gosselin.  Coderre’s partner onstage was the Équipe Denis Coderre pour Montréal candidate for the city council district of Champlain—Île-des-Sœurs, Marie-Josée Parent.

Following the forum, Valérie Plante said she was happy with how it went, and that she had gotten to say hello to her opponent for a moment backstage.  Denis Coderre did not make himself available to the press after the forum.

Election Day in Montreal and other cities in Quebec is on November 5th.