Denis Coderre says he's flattered by poll but Liberal leadership 'not a priority'

Former Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre on Tuesday said he was flattered by a recent poll that found Liberal voters were more likely to vote for him than any other potential party leadership candidate.

"It's very flattering--listen I've been president of my kindergarten class when I was four, so clearly it's in my DNA. There are many many ways to make this city, or this province, or this country shine," Coderre said.

But, the former mayor has a lot on his plate.

"I'm writing a book right now on the future of cities. Clearly, when you have people who feel you can be that person, it's very flattering. Right now, I'm listening, and I'll see what happens, but I'm in love, I have many mandates to take care of right now so we'll see, but it's not one of my priorities right now," he said.

Coderre thinks the Liberal party needs to get back to its roots to regain some of its lost popularity.

"You need to be grounded; you need to be with the people, you need to focus. The Liberal party is a great party. They've done so many things," he said. "Just come back to your basics, but it's all about connecting. Be the counterbalance, and you know people want to hear about the environment, they want to make sure we can make a difference, there are many many issues in front."

On the CAQs continued popularity, which showed Monday in a Quebec City byelection, he said the party was still in a honeymoon phase.

"You have a government that has been there for a year. Of course, there is a honeymoon there. There are some issues, of course, that I'm not in agreement with, but I think it's all about first and foremost to see what happened, why the Liberals lost, and I've lost myself, so you have to do your own brainstorm," he said.

If he does return to politics, the former mayor said he would focus on unity as a defining issue.

"I think that what we need to fight for right now is to be, I would suggest, an antidote against cynicism. You have a lot of things that are going out, all the fake news and all those issues, and I think it's all about bringing people together."  

Coderre will participate in the ride to conquer cancer fundraiser in July, for the second time. 

  • Watch his full interview with CTV Montreal's Paul Karwatsky above.