Press-Republican

Black

November 30, 2012

New Montreal mayor is an anglo

One was a fur trader, one was a gardener, one went to jail, one was exiled, and another became prime minister.

The 42 mayors of Montreal have been a very diverse bunch over the 180 years since the city was incorporated, but for the first time in a century, the chief magistrate of Canada’s second-largest metropolis is English — and Jewish to boot.

Michael Applebaum, a 49-year-old real-estate agent who was mayor of a largely English-speaking borough of the city, became mayor of Montreal in the wake of the resignation of Gerald Tremblay, who had served since 2001.

Tremblay left office three weeks ago, defiantly denying any direct knowledge of an institutionalized system of kickbacks in city construction contracts as alleged by witnesses at an ongoing public judicial inquiry into collusion and corruption in Quebec’s construction industry.

A narrow margin of city councillors chose Applebaum, who had only recently been Tremblay’s second in command at City Hall. His supporters included French- and English-speaking councilors from opposition parties.

Applebaum is technically only the interim mayor, pending next year’s full municipal elections. He has said he won’t run for mayor at that time, which may have been a major factor in his election to the temporary post.

Like his predecessor Tremblay, the new mayor might be described as among the more bland of the types to lead Montreal over the years.

Take Camillien Houde, for example. He had been in and out of politics at both the federal and provincial levels but ended up as Montreal mayor in 1928 and served several intermittent terms, until 1940. At that time, his passionate opposition to wartime conscription — a heated topic in Quebec — got him arrested for sedition and he was thrown into a prison camp without trial until 1944. Upon his release, he was promptly elected mayor of Montreal for another 10 years.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Black
  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg The friendly Commonwealth Games

    The 20th Commonwealth Games are now underway in Glasgow, Scotland, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Quebec's proliferation of festivals

    Woodstock en Beauce celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Quebec City's English paper a survivor

    In a city stocked with beautiful, interesting and historic buildings, the five-story gem located at perhaps the busiest corner in Old Quebec doesn't attract much attention, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadian hockey Kings

    As of this writing, the Los Angeles Kings have either already quaffed from their second Stanley Cup or are on the verge of closing out the New York Rangers, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    June 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Remembering the forgotten Empress

    The Titanic gets the most attention, what with the epic drama of the 1912 sinking of an incomparable luxury liner, stocked with celebrities, on its maiden voyage.

    May 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadians among TV conspirators

    Call me weird, paranoid, a child of Watergate and Contragate or just a connoisseur of tense political drama, but my current three favorite TV programs are about conspiracies in America, each in a different era of U.S. history, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Hurons gamble on Quebec

    When we were kids, our parents took us to visit Sainte Marie among the Hurons, the restoration of the settlement French missionaries built in 1639 in what is now central Ontario, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    May 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Trench warfare in Quebec elections

    I've seen many a Quebec election in my day (I'll skip the "by cracky"), writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo