Denis Coderre announces Montreal’s new executive committee

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre announced the 14 members of his new executive committee Monday afternoon, with some spots going to his opponents.

Coderre says he wants renewal, appoints opposition councillors to the city’s top committee

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre names opponent Russell Copeman to the city's new executive committee. (CBC)

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre announced the 14 members of his new executive committee Monday afternoon, with some spots going to his opponents.

Coderre reached out to Coalition Montréal, which was the party of his rival mayoral candidate Marcel Côté.

Coderre named three Coalition Montréal members to the city’s top committee:

  • Russell Copeman, borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
  • Réal Ménard, borough mayor of Hochelaga—Maisonneuve
  • Elsie Lefebvre, city councillor in Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension

Coderre could not name Coalition Montréal’s party leader Marcel Côté to the executive committee, since Côté was not elected as a councillor.

Instead, Coderre named him as his special advisor, at an annual salary of $1.

Shut out

Coderre didn’t reach out to all of his opponents.

No members from Richard Bergeron’s Projet Montréal party were named to the executive committee.

Bergeron accused Coderre of playing along party lines.

"Mr. Coderre chose to be partisan by not inviting anybody of Projet Montréal to be a member of the executive committee," he said, adding that some women from Projet Montréal would have made great additions to Coderre’s executive committee.

But Coderre said it all came down to making choices.

"I had a list, I had a number. They all accepted. I didn't have any room. So there you go," Coderre said.

Four of the committee's 14 members are women.

Former longtime executive committee members were also shut out from the committee this time around, such as Alan DeSousa — who was the former Chairman of the executive committee — and Michel Bissonnet.

Coderre said that was deliberate because he wanted “renewal” by appointing people who had never been on the committee before.

Coderre also appointed the speaker for Montreal city council: Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension city councillor​ Frantz Benjamin.

Benjamin is of Haitian descent and would be Montreal's first black speaker.

The appointment of the new executive committee was approved at Monday night's city council meeting.

Montreal’s executive committee:

Denis Coderre: in charge of economic development, international relations, Mont Royal, Montreal’s 375th anniversary

Pierre Desrochers: president of the executive committee, in charge of finance, major projects

Anie Samson: vice-president of the executive committee, in charge of public safety and services to citizens

Harout Chitilian: vice-president of the executive committee, in charge of administrative reform, Smart City, technology & information

Manon Gauthier: in charge of culture & heritage, design, status of women

Chantal Rouleau: in charge of water and water infrastructure

Russell Copeman: in charge of housing and urban planning

Réal Ménard: in charge of sustainable development, environment, parks and green spaces

Dimitrios Jim Beis: in charge of sports & leisure, and cultural communities

Lionel Perez: in charge of infrastructure, governance & democracy

Monique Vallée: in charge of social & community development, and homelessness

Aref Salem: in charge of transport

Francesco Miele: majority leader

Jean-Marc Gibeau: caucus president

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