NDG voters size up Montreal's mayoral candidates as campaign gets into full swing

Daybreak's Mike Finnerty and Shari Okeke stroll along Monkland Avenue in NDG speaking to voters who are mulling their choices in the Montreal election campaign.

Daybreak's Mike Finnerty and Shari Okeke talk to voters along Monkland Avenue

Hip hop musician Kenny Pierre just bought roses for his girlfriend's birthday and says as a Haitian Montrealer, his choice for mayor is clear. 'I'd vote for Coderre for sure.' (Shari Okeke/CBC)

Throughout the municipal election campaign, Daybreak's Mike Finnerty and Shari Okeke are hitting the road to hear directly from voters as they decide who they want to elect as their municipal politicians.

This week, they headed to NDG to check in with voters strolling along Monkland Avenue.

It's part of the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, where voters will elect the Montreal mayor, the borough mayor and five city councillors.

Mike and Shari asked these voters (and one person who can't vote yet, but is watching the campaign with interest) who they have in mind for the next mayor of Montreal.

Kenny Pierre

Kenny Pierre is a hip hop musician who says he's "not really into voting" but if he does vote, he'll definitely choose Denis Coderre.

"I really like his vibe, you know, I really like too what he's doing for Montreal," he said.

"I'm a Haitian person and for a Haitian person, Coderre really did a lot for the Haitian community we cannot deny it."

Uzi Witkowski

Uzi Witkowski says he plans to vote for Denis Coderre but Valérie Plante could persuade him 'if she told me she's going to take care of the noise level on Monkland and parking.' (Mike Finnerty/CBC)

Uzi Witkowski was talking to a friend on Monkland, just around the corner from his home. He says he's hearing all the criticism of Denis Coderre but feels Coderre has done a good job.
"I think the roadwork was necessary. I think celebrations were a nice feature for the city, probably more expensive than they expected but I don't think he's spending more on himself or the party," he said.

"I think he's doing it for the citizens. I would vote for him again."

But he has a complaint that could be a game-changer for him.

"The city has neglected the privacy and the noise level of people living around Monkland and the parking issue as well, and it seems to me they're only really concerned about issuing licences to restaurants and bars that can stay open until 2 a.m." 

He says Projet Montréal's Peter McQueen has been helpful in addressing his concerns and although Valérie Plante has not impressed him yet, she could still persuade him to change his vote.

"If she told me she's going to take care of the noise level on Monkland and the parking issues, then yes."

Andrée Souaid

Andrée Souaid lives in St-Laurent and was shopping on Monkland Ave. when she ran into Mike and Shari. Her vote for Montreal mayor? 'Undecided right now, that's me.' (Mike Finnerty/CBC)

Daybreak listener Andrée Souaid lives in Saint-Laurent but was on Monkland Avenue to buy bagels when Mike and Shari came along.

She says she likes Coderre but isn't sure she wants to vote for him.

"I wish he'd think before he leaps," she said.

"The E racing — he doesn't want to state what the costs were. What's the difference? Say it," she says.

Souaid says Plante "has no experience" and she's not convinced by her messages.

"I just find that she's maybe just know, just to get there," she said.

So she has no idea how she'll vote on Nov. 5.

Nikolaj Van Omme and Dania El-Khechen 

Nikolaj Van Omme and Dania El-Khechen say they plan to research the candidates. 'We are concerned so yes, we'll do our homework for sure,' Van Omme said. (Shari Okeke/CBC)

Nikolaj Van Omme and Dania El-Khechen were strolling with daughter Leyla on their way back from a dancing class.

They don't know who they'll vote for but they're not keen on Denis Coderre.

"I don't like his image and the way he's talking and moving but this doesn't matter much," Van Omme said.

The main issues on their minds: corruption, the environment, and spending on Montreal's 375th anniversary.

They plan to research all the candidates before casting their ballots.

"We will do this seriously, we are citizens and we are concerned so, yes, we will do our homework for sure."

Katell Le Guern

Katell Le Guern cannot vote because she's still in the process of becoming a Canadian citizen, but says she likes what she's hearing from Valérie Plante 'in terms of environment changes.' (Shari Okeke/CBC)

Katell Le Guern cannot vote because she'll still in the process of becoming a Canadian citizen but she's listening to the candidates' messages.

"I feel like the city has developed quite a reputation under Coderre but I also think there's a lot that Valerie [Plante] has to offer in terms of environment changes and I'm a big walker so I definitely like everything she has to say about people walking."

Katell says her friends and neighbours are not talking about the election campaign much but she already finds they have different ideas about who should be Montreal's next mayor.

"I would say the Europeans — because I'm originally from France — the Europeans would actually probably vote more [Plante] than the Quebecers I know. I would say the anglophone Quebecers are not very Projet Montréal, they find her too left wing."