WATCH: An emotional Denis Coderre holds final City Hall news conference
Outgoing Montreal mayor Denis Coderre met the media for the last time at City Hall on Wednesday, three days after losing Sunday's election to Valerie Plante.
He spent much of it touting his accomplishments over the last four years — including changing Montreal's flag to recognize Indigenous peoples, moving to fix the city's dilapidated infrastructure, and finally convincing the provincial government to give the city new powers.
"What I'm most proud of is that people are together. We're not anglophones, not francophones, we're Montrealers," said Coderre. "My task was to bring people together and that's what I'm most proud of. In the modern era we don't identify ourselves in terms of ethnicity or by nation. We identify ourselves in terms of our city."
The mayor also took credit for bringing back a measure of integrity and stability to a city that had a reputation for corruption before he took office.
"We brought back stability, we brought back integrity. We created the Inspector General," said Coderre. "We did in four years what others would have taken 15."
Even as he wiped away tears, he said he had no regrets about how he did the job, and brushed away a question about whether he thought the Formula E fiasco cost him his job.
"I don't have any regrets," said Coderre. "The people are always right."
He also appeared to get emotional as he was asked how he was feeling about leaving the mayor's job, saying he felt extremely privileged to sit in the same chair as the likes of Jean Drapeau and Camillien Houde, two of his longest-serving predecessors in the 20th century.
"I love this city, profoundly, and throughout my life I've devoted myself to it," said Coderre.
He wouldn't say what he'll do next — other than to take a vacation and spend time with his family.
"I'm going to go to the movies. I enjoy that and I've missed it," said Coderre.