Protesters provide the unscripted element in Coderre's launch

Senior politicial analyst Bernard St-Laurent comments on Denis Coderre's unmasking of a protester at the launch of his campaign to become Montreal's next mayor.

Liberal MP launches mayoralty bid amid demonstrators

Denis Coderre announces his bid for Montreal's mayoralty against a backdrop of protesters.

The official launch of Denis Coderre's mayoralty campaign didn't go according to script. But what did happen may still work in his favour. 

The plan was for the Liberal MP to announce his official entry into the mayor's race with Montreal's city hall as the back drop for the television shots.

But when he arrived, Coderre was greeted by a group of noisy demonstrators calling for more social housing. They were joined by others wearing the red square from last year's student protests. 

And to top it all off, two tall young men wearing black scarves and dark sunglasses worked their way to within inches of the main microphone and Coderre, himself. They stood close behind him and heckled him during the entire event.

The Coderre team seemed totally unprepared. 

But the candidate stood his ground. He told the protesters he had marched in the streets to support many causes and to defend people's right to free speech.

When asked if he supports bylaw P-6 which bans the wearing of masks during a demonstration, he turned around and told the masked men who were heckling him that he believes protesters should be required to provide police with an itinerary. 

After the news conference was over, Coderre pulled down the mask of one of the men who had tried to approach him.

So if Denis Coderre wanted to present himself as a man of the people who is not afraid to take on big challenges, the protesters may have inadvertently done him a favour.