Former Montreal Allouettes Gray Cup Champion, lawyer, and longtime community activist Balarama Holness is officially running for mayor of Montreal.
Holness officially announced his candidacy on May 20 and joins a field of candidates that includes current mayor Valérie Plante, former mayor Denis Coderre, and newcomer Marc Antoine Desjardins.
A fresh vision to energize Montreal: I’m officially running for Mayor of our city! My team and I have decided to l… https://t.co/4LaU6xAGPK— Balarama Holness (@Balarama Holness) 1621509545.0
Holness, a born and bred Montreal local, who the New York Times dubbed as the "Canadian Barack Obama," is running on a platform of "People Before Politics" under a new party named Mouvement Montréal (Movement Montreal).
In his campaign announcement press release, Holness said that "Movement Montreal is focused on energizing the city by serving and representing all Montrealers [...] Movement Montreal's new approach to political organizing, campaigning, and policy-making will prioritize peoples' needs, support their aspirations, and give them a voice."
In an interview with MTL Blog in October 2020, Holness said that "I want to ensure that, once elected, people are engaged in a participatory democracy, whether it's the budget, decision making at City Hall, ensuring that parties have more representation."
"Most people at City Hall [...] [follow] a political culture that is not to stand up for people who don't vote for them or people who don't look like them [...] If you don't have a City Hall that represents the population, you're going to have a void."