Mayor of Montreal East Robert Coutu expected to run for federal Conservatives

Coutu will become the 33rd Quebec candidate announced by the party, headed by Andrew Scheer, which hopes to increase its number of Quebec MPs from 11 to at least 25 in the election.

Conservatives hope to increase number of Quebec MPs from 11 to at least 25

Robert Coutu has been the mayor of Montreal East since 2009 (Radio-Canada)

The Conservative Party of Canada is expected to announce that Robert Coutu, the current mayor of Montreal East, will run to represent the riding of La Pointe-de-l'Île in the October election.

It's currently represented by Bloc Québécois MP Mario Beaulieu.

Coutu will become the 33rd Quebec candidate announced by the party, headed by Andrew Scheer, which hopes to increase its number of Quebec MPs from 11 to at least 25 in the election.

In order to achieve this, the party is targeting Bloc ridings, and those won by the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) in the last election.

La Pointe-de-l'Île is similar to the provincial riding of Pointe-aux-Trembles, which was won by CAQ MNA Chantal Rouleau, the former mayor of the borough of Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles, in November.

The federal riding also includes a portion of the Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough.

Work ahead for federal Conservatives

The Conservatives did not surpass 10 per cent of the vote in Quebec in the last two elections.

In more recent years, the party has been betting on entrenched candidates who have political influence in their communities, such as mayors or municipal councillors.

For example, the Quebec lieutenant for the Conservatives, Alain Rayes, was mayor of Victoriaville.

Career in politics

Robert Coutu is from the Sudbury, Ont., area. He worked in the private sector after earning an MBA at UQAM and an EMBA at Paris Dauphine University.

He's been the mayor of Montreal East since 2009, and before that, he was a city councillor since 2005.

He was vice-chair of the city's Committee on Economic, Urban and Housing Development, according to his LinkedIn profile.

In November 2017, he was re-elected for a third term as mayor.

Based on a report by Radio-Canada's Philippe-Vincent Foisy.