Mayor Plante nominates first Black woman to serve as speaker of Montreal's city council

Montreal city council is expected to see its first Black woman serve as speaker in yet another move toward more diversity in municipal politics.

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante has nominated lawyer and former Canadian Armed Forces member Martine Musau Muele for the top position.

Muele was elected as city councillor in the Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough in the Nov. 7 election.

Plante proposed her Thursday during the first regular meeting of the city’s executive committee — one that now has more women than men as members for the first time. The committe comprises 13 women and five men.

Muele is the founder of the Muele boutique law firm, which specializes in public policy law and administrative law.

A University of Ottawa graduate, Muele worked as a legal attaché for international organizations, including the international committee of the Canadian Red Cross in Geneva.

“I am confident that her extensive work experience, including serving two municipalities as City Clerk, as Commissioner of the OCPM, and with the Canadian Armed Forces and the firm she founded, will enable her to skillfully lead City Council's work and foster constructive and respectful discussions," said Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante in a news release.

Her nomination will be subject to a vote at the first city council meeting on Monday.

Musau Muele is the second Black woman to be named to a high-profile position at city hall in as many days; the new chair of the executive committee, Dominique Ollivier, was named to her new role on Wednesday. She is the first Black woman to hold that position.

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