Denis Coderre consulted for developer, rail company prior to mayoral campaign
Ensemble Montréal leader finally releases financial records after report about his work for Cogir Immobilier
In the final week of the campaign, we're following the race for mayor of Montreal. You can check out the party platforms here and more of our in-depth coverage here. Here's a look at what's happening today.
Denis Coderre was paid $364,428 during the 2020 fiscal year for work he did as a consultant, according to records released by his party, Ensemble Montréal.
From 2018 to March of 2021 — around the time he declared his intention to run for mayor — Coderre had several contracts that included doing consulting work for a zoo, a large real estate company, a local music streaming service and as an administrator with Eurostar, a European high-speed rail transportation company, in connection with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
According to his party's release, Coderre also received $93,835 during the last fiscal year from his pension as a former Member of Parliament, a role he held from 1997 to 2013.
The records also show Coderre paid $187,850 in federal and provincial income taxes in 2020.
Coderre had initially claimed he could not reveal his list of clients due to confidentiality agreements and insisted for days he would only divulge that information if he was elected mayor.
The mayoral candidate released the information following a report in La Presse that said Coderre was employed by Cogir Immobilier, a major real estate player that holds a portfolio of commercial and residential properties, including shopping centres.
Earlier this year, dozens of families in Montreal's Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood claimed Cogir tried to force them out of their apartments.
Coderre was not subject to a confidentiality agreement, according to the report.
Here is the full list of companies Coderre has worked for since 2018, as well the functions he carried out:
- Cogir: 2019 to March 2021. Strategic consultation in international development in the United States and Europe.
- Eurostar: November 2018 to March 2021. Administration for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
- Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile: 2018-2019. Strategic consultation on urban agenda and smart cities.
- Jewish General Hospital Foundation: May 2018 to March 2021. Ambassador.
- Parc Omega: 2020 to March 2021. Administration and strategic consultation on a project with First Nations in the Outaouais region.
- Stingray: 2018 to March 2021. Strategic consultation on market development.
- Studio Félix & Paul: February 2020 to March 2021. Strategic consultation on economic development.
- Transcontinental: 2020 to March. Providing strategic economic and investment advice.
Coderre fires back at Projet Montréal
After releasing his list of clients, Coderre accused Projet Montréal of sullying his reputation "in order to distract voters from the real issues" of this municipal campaign.
"We must not take our eyes off the real issues of this election: the security crisis, the housing crisis, the climate crisis," the candidate said in a statement.
"The next four years will be crucial for Montreal, which has been weakened by the catastrophic management of the Plante-Dorais administration."
Coderre and Ensemble Montréal candidates are holding a public event at about 7:30 p.m.
In recent days, Projet Montréal leader Valérie Plante disclosed her own tax returns, a move she said reflects her team's "integrity and its freedom from conflict of interests."
On Wednesday, Plante criticized Coderre for not revealing the names of all the companies he worked with.
"We're [either] transparent or we're not," she said. "Especially when we aspire to become mayor of a city, we have to show transparency in all aspects."
Key stories to read before voting:
Holness seeks to address environmental inequalities
On Wednesday, Mouvement Montréal leader Balarama Holness said his party would commit to creating green spaces across the city, including in lower-income neighbourhoods.
"Access to community green spaces shouldn't be affected by geography or socioeconomic status," Holness said.
He criticized Plante for the impact of a heat wave on the city in 2018, when 66 people died.
He also reiterated his plan to offer free public transit to young people and speed up the electrification of public transportation.