Election 2008 - Montreal: riding by riding

By Jessica Murphy on September 18, 2008




The riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie includes the eastern section of the Plateau , the western part of Ville-Marie and the working-class neighbourhoods of Centre-Sud. The majority francophone riding first elected Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe in 1990. Duceppe won as an independent in a resounding victory against Liberal candidate Denis Coderre. With that victory, he became the Bloc's first member of parliament.

Born in 1947, Duceppe has a degree in political science and was a union organizer before going into politics. In 2006 he won a majority with 54 per cent of the vote but this election is dogged by rumours it may be his last campaign as party leader.

The Liberal candidate, Sebastien Caron, is a lawyer with Heenan Blaikie, a law firm that has  had two former Prime Ministers on its roster - Jean Chretien and Pierre Trudeau. Caron is an executive director with Lawyers Without Borders, an NGO promoting rights around the world. He supports environmental and arts issues and lives in Laurier-Sainte-Marie with his family.

Professor and author Francois Gregoire is the NDP candidate in the riding. He has taught political science at CEGEP Edouard-Montpetit for over 30 years and has been involved in various unions. It's the third time Gregoire is campaigning in the riding. He came a distant second to Duceppe in 2006.

Running for the Conservatives for the first time is Charles K. Langford, who teaches business at UQAM and who has written several books on portfolio management. He also works as a financial advisor.

As of press time, the Green Party was not running a candidate in        the riding.






Candidates in the riding of Westmount-Ville-Marie have been campaigning since earlier this summer. In Liberal Marc Garneau’s case since the winter. A federal byelection planned for Sept. 8 was canceled when Prime Minister Stephen Harper called a general election in early September.

In 2006, Liberal Lucienne Robillard won a fourth term in the riding but resigned her seat             this January.

The central Montreal riding is a traditional Liberal stronghold with  average family income spanning the gamut from among the highest in Canada, in Westmount itself, to among the lowest in some of the inner-city areas it encompasses.

Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau is the Liberal star candidate in the riding. The former president of the Canadian Space Agency ran as the Liberal candidate for the first time in 2005 in Vaudreuil-Solanges. He is also an officer of the Order of Canada.

Heenan Blaikie lawyer Guy Dufort is campaigning for the Conservative Party in Westmount-Ville-Marie. Dufort  was an active member of the Progressive Conservative Party and served as president for the Quebec wing under both Jean Charest and Joe Clark. His practice focuses on litigation, labour and employment law and aboriginal law. He ran as a Conservative in the Hull-Aylmer riding in the 2000 general election.

The NDP is hoping former CBC radio journalist Anne Lagace Dowson will win the party a seat in Westmount-Ville-Marie in much the same way NDP MP Thomas Mulcair had a surprise win in the Outremont byelection in Sept. 2007.

Dowson is an award-winning broadcaster and was a member of the Senate of the University of Ottawa. She served as the vice-president of the teaching assistants’ union at Carleton University and was a parent member of the Governing Board of Bancroft School.

Bloc Quebecois' Charles Larivee is the youngest candidate in the riding but nonetheless has political experience under his belt. He was president of various student organizations        at McGill University including         its separatist party that supported    the Bloc Quebecois and the           Parti Quebecois.

Running for the the Green Party is another Quebec celebrity: Claude William Genest. He's the founder of the Green Mountain Permaculture Institute where he teaches earth repair and ecological design. Genest was appointed deputy leader of the party in November 2006 and has previously served in the Greens’ shadow cabinet as critic for ecological economics. He is also an Emmy-nominated television actor and presenter and the son of Quebec actor Emile Genest.





Outremont, in central Montreal covers not only the affluent Outremont neighbourhood but also stretches into the low-income and ethnically diverse neighbourhood of Cote-des-Neiges. In 2007, the NDP swept a bylelection in the riding with Thomas Mulcair, breaking the riding's near 100 per cent history of voting Liberal.

Incumbent Mulcair was first elected as a Liberal in 1994. He served as minister of sustainable development from 2003 to 2006 and is the author of Quebec’s Sustainable Development Law. A lawyer by training, he switched to the NDP in 2007.

The Liberals are running someone who will be recognizable to many Quebecers who own a television: Sebastien Dhavernas, a comedian, director, singer-songwriter, acting teacher, artistic director, sound director, and producer. He's appeared in Le Temps d’une Paix, Chop Suey, Urgence, Watatatow, Tribu.com et Virginie. Conservative cuts to arts spending spurred his first foray into politics.

A young entrepreneur and businessman, Lulzim Laloshi is the Conservative Party candidate. Laloshi has a background in computer science and project management and marketing. He runs his own business and says his priorities are the environment, multiculturalism and immigration issues.

A lawyer with a background in criminal and family law, Marcella Valdivia is running for the Bloc Quebecois. She was a member of a Montreal committee looking at issues of cultural communities and racial profiling and went to Colombia with Lawyers without Borders in 2006.

Francois Pilon, aka Mr. Clothesline,  is running for the Greens in this riding. He's been living in Cote-des-Neiges since 1980 and says  he's "just an ordinary guy who's really tired of all the scams and double-meaning speeches from politicians." He's been installing clotheslines in Montreal for the last 20 years. It's the third time Pilon is presenting himself for the Greens in Outremont.



Jeanne-Le Ber


This riding, in the southwest corner of the Island of Montreal, has been held by the Bloc Quebecois' Thierry St-Cyr since 2006 when he beat incumbent Liza Frulla. Jeanne-Le Ber includes lower-income areas such as Verdun and Pointe-St-Charles and the more affluent residential area of Nun's Island. Almost 17 per cent of the population have a university degree, but at the same time ,almost 13 per cent have less than a Grade 9 education.

St-Cyr, a former engineer, has spent the past two years as Bloc spokesman for immigration, youth, and sovereignty. He has a background in administration and teaching.

A real estate broker is running for the Conservatives. Daniel Beaudin has sat on numerous boards in the area, including the Yvon Lamarre Foundation and acted as president of CLSC St-Henri's Foundation for 5 Years. He ran for a seat at city council in the 2005 municipal election for the Verdun borough.

Daniel Breton is the New Democrat candidate. He's worked in television and film as an artistic director and in public affairs radio. He's the co-founder of the Parti Vert du Québec, helped organize the first march against the military intervention in Afghanistan and was the PVQ candidate in 2002 in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

The Liberal Party candidate is Christian Feuillette, founder and manager of his own publishing company, which handles general literary projects. A native of France, he is also president of Auroville International Canada, which promotes the development of the ecological city of Auroville in Southern India.

Occupational therapist and first time campaigner Véronik Sansoucy is running for the Greens.





Marlene Jennings is running as the incumbent in the Liberal stronghold of NDG-Lachine. She defeated the Bloc Quebecois candidate by over 10,000 votes to win her fourth term in office in 2006. She is the first black woman from Quebec to be elected to the House of Commons. Jennings is the deputy house leader and served as justice critic. Her background is in law and policing. She backed current Liberal leader Stephane Dion in his leadership bid.

This riding is located in the south central part of Montreal. Dorval Airport as well as the Concordia University-Loyola Campus are both in the riding. Liberal Warren Allmand, currently a city councillor in CDN-NDG, won here in 1965 and served as MP until 1997, a total of nine terms.

Running for the Conservatives is lawyer Carmine Pontillo, a son of Italian immigrants. Prior to becoming an attorney, Pontillo worked as a train conductor and was a regular crew-member of the commuter trains on the Dorion-Montreal rail line that runs through Montreal West, Lachine and Dorval.

Peter Deslauriers is running on the NDP ticket in the riding. He holds degrees in economics and political science from McGill University and a masters in art history from Concordia University. He's a professor at Dawson College and a member the teacher's union there.

Jessica Gal is running for the second time for the Green Party. The 33-year-old native Montrealer is one of the founding members of the present incarnation of the Green Party of Quebec, and in 2003’s provincial elections obtained the highest percentage of votes in the party as candidate in NDG-Lachine.

Eric Taillefer is running for the Bloc Quebecois, a party that traditionally limps into second place in this riding. He's a secondary school teacher currently studying law at UQAM.





The Papineau riding in central Montreal is the smallest federal riding in Canada, covering only nine square kilometres. Its residents have at one time elected both Camilien Houde as an independent and Guy Favreau as a Liberal.

The riding is a mix of row housing, apartments, small shops, and Chabanel Street clothing manufacturers and has the third lowest average family income in Canada. Unemployment is well above the Canadian average.

In this election, Bloc Quebecois incumbent Vivian Bardot will be fighting Justin Trudeau, running for the Liberals. Bardot is a former college professor and union leader, and was the president-director general of the Fédération des femmes du Québec. She was first elected in this traditionally Liberal riding in 2006.

Trudeau,a teacher by training, is the eldest son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. He is well-known as a speaker on youth and environmental issues and has worked with numerous groups dedicated to the protection our Canadian heritage.

Mustaque Sarker is running for the Conservative Party. He's a businessman fluent in six languages and has been involved in grassroots federal politics since 1985. He is running in the riding for the third time. In 1996, Sarker received the Good Canadian Citizen Award of Saint Denis in recognition of his contributions to the community.

Ingrid Hein, a writer and web project manager, is the Green Party candidate. She's focused on social issues and community development. She was also a journalist with the Montreal weekly Hour newspaper.

The NDP is running Costa Zafiropoulos in Papineau.


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