Passing the political torch in St. Laurent

From left, new council candidate Jacques Cohen, St. Laurent Mayor Alan DeSousa, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, and incumbent councillors Michèle Biron, Aref Salem and Francesco Miele.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre presided over a press conference Sunday in which most of the incumbent St. Laurent council confirmed they will be running in this November’s municipal election under the Équipe Denis Coderre pour Montréal banner.

Mayor Alan DeSousa, and councillors Francesco Miele, Michèle Biron and Aref Salem are all running again. But Councillor Maurice Cohen, who has served since 1982, will be retiring, and he is passing the political torch to his son Jacques, a first-time candidate.

Biron has also served since 1982.

The younger Cohen worked for both the former city and current borough of St. Laurent from 1986 to 2015 in the revenue and Communications and Citizen Relations departments, and he has also volunteered for several local sports organizations.

Jacques Cohen said he decided, in running, to give back to the community, and he also expressed pride in his father’s longtime political legacy.

“I’ve been at the front lines... five days a week, eight hours a day, just taking care of the citizens,” the candidate said as his father proudly watched. “It’s an invaluable experience. I grew up here, my kids grew up here.

“My dad has set the bar really high for us,” he added. “He never ceases to amaze me how important he considers the people of St. Laurent to be, and how each person individually has to be taken care of.”

Coderre said Montreal is relevant and has major roles to play in both local and international contexts.

“I suggest we will have many, many other things to offer to Montrealers for the next mandate, but first, we have a great record,” the Mayor said.

“The last four years have had a lot of challenges, and a lot of achievements,” DeSousa said. “I’m very pleased that not only were we able to achieve good things at the level of the City of Montreal for the benefit of our community and the Greater Montreal region, but locally, the team has worked well together.”

DeSousa also referred to the upcoming rapid transit light rail line (REM), the recently opened sports centre, the borough’s bike paths and other achievements.

“It’s been a very productive four years.”

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