Rachel Bendayan

Rachel Bendayan on the campaign trail.

In 2007 then Federal Liberal Party leader Stéphane Dion declined the opportunity to have Justin Trudeau as a star candidate in an Outremont by-election, choosing instead untested political commentator Jocelyn Coulon. Trudeau was forced to fight for a seat in Papineau while Dion’s ill-advised move brought Thomas Mulcair into federal politics, where he won a breakthough by-election for the NDP. This was in fact the precursor to the Orange Wave that swept Quebec in 2011. The Liberals have a chance to reclaim Outremont when Mulcair retires in the spring. Rachel Bendayan, the lawyer who came a close second to the then NDP leader in the 2015 vote, told me she will seek the nomination again. She is on maternity leave now from her job as Chief of Staff to Small Business and Tourism Minister Bardish Chagger. With a team of 100 volunteers and counting making calls and assisting with door-to-door campaigning, she has a head start. We hear that Outremont riding president David Marshall wants to throw his hat in the ring.

CODERRE ON MARCH: I chatted with former Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre at the St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal luncheon last Friday. As his successor Valerie Plante continues to anger the electorate, most people he meets seem to want him back. He revealed that in April he will participate in the March of the Living in Poland and Israel, which attracts students for an emotional Holocaust Remembrance experience. See my blog for more on the luncheon and former Premier Jean Charest’s outstanding speech.

DOCTORS GO PRIVATE: If you did not hear Monday’s edition of Today’s Entrepreneur on CJAD, log on to https://www.flmontreal.com/community/todays-entrepreneur-community and you can hear why urologist Dr. Andrew Steinberg and dermatologist Dr. Roni Munk went private Their words should be another warning to Premier Philippe Couillard why his Health Minister may indeed be responsible for a Liberal defeat in October. See my blog for interviews with the two doctors.

SCORES IN NDG: The Scores Rotisserie chain formally launched its new restaurant and training center on St. Laurent Blvd in Ahuntsic last week. This is where new franchisees get to spend 10 weeks learning everything about running one of their restaurants. Brand COO Ron Simard told me to expect an announcement any day now about a brand new Scores to be built from the ground up in NDG, complete with the new trademark Grand Saladier supersized salad bar.

BATSHAW FUNDRAISER: The Batshaw Centres Foundation, which provides direct support to clients of Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, will hold the third annual “Défi Canapé” – a fundraising event at Entrepots Dominion in Griffintown on the evening of Wed. March 28. Well-known local chefs from Bishop and Bagg/Burgundy Lion, Loic, Mouton Noir, Petros Taverna Westmount, Restaurant Sumac, and Tuck Shop will prepare signature canapés. Guests will vote on their favourite and a winning canapé will be crowned. While the competition is friendly, the chefs and their teams are taking it very seriously! For ticket info: www.batshawfoundation.ca.

COHEN CHATTER: Akiva School in Westmount has announced that Rabbi Eric Grossman will become the new Head of School, effective August 1, 2018. Rabbi Grossman comes to Akiva School with over 20 years in Jewish day school education and leadership. Originally from Toronto, he has worked in a number of Jewish day schools across North America … A gathered recently at the Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Cote Saint-Luc and at Woodbine Beach on Lake Ontario to watch 36 brave volunteers plunge into freezing cold water at the second annual Plunge4Mosh event to raise over $65,000 for projects of Camp Moshava Ennismore near Peterborough, Ontario.

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