Montreal mayoral candidates to face off in English-language debate Oct. 28
Three candidates for mayor of Montreal will have a chance to win over voters in an English-language debate later this month.
Valerie Plante, Denis Coderre and Balarama Holness will take part in a televised debate on Thursday, Oct. 28 from 5:30 - 7 p.m.
CTV Montreal’s Mutsumi Takahashi and CBC Montreal’s Debra Arbec will moderate the event, presented by a consortium comprised of local English news outlets: CTV, CJAD 800, CBC TV & Radio, Citytv, Global Television and The Montreal Gazette.
Language is sure to come up as the candidates recently made their voices heard on the issue. Plante said she is seeking to promote French in the metropolis, while Holness is seeking bilingual status for Montreal. Coderre nixed the idea of a referendum on language, calling it “too divisive.”
The English debate will be broadcast live and livestreamed, commercial free, including on CTV Montreal and CTVNewsMontreal.ca and on CJAD 800 radio.
The mayoral candidates will say their piece on six topics -- housing, public safety, economy, climate crisis, inclusion and transportation -- each of which will include a pre-recorded video question from a member of the public. To submit your question, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The announcement comes a day after four mayoral candidates took part in a debate at the Université de Montreal put on by six youth organizations and with a focus on young voters. That debate focused on hot-button issues including affordable housing and public transportation.
Frontrunners Plante from Projet Montreal and Ensemble Montreal's Coderre have already verbally sparred in prior debates and are slated to face off Oct. 18 in an economic debate hosted by the Montreal Chamber of Commerce.
Holness, who recently merged his Mouvement Montreal campaign with that of with Raillement pour Montreal, spoke to media about the decision to be left out of the debate, saying voters deserve to hear what his party has to say.
A recent Leger poll had the Mouvement Montreal leader at 10 per cent, and he has candidates running in 75 per cent of the city's districts, which Holness said meets the criteria set out by the Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber of Commerce has since clarified that, saying that because the Leger poll was not independent -- rather, it was commissioned by Projet Montreal -- it does not grant Holness eligibility.
Plante and Coderre are in a tight rematch of their 2017 campaign, with the Projet Montreal / Leger poll putting them at 36 and 35 per cent, respectively. A previous Leger / Le Devoir poll put Coderre at 37 per cent, and Plante and 36 per cent.
Municipal elections take place Nov. 7.