Denis Coderre Flip-Flopped On His Proposal To Ban Drinking In Montreal Parks After 8 PM

Only a few days after a large number of Montrealers called out mayoral candidate Denis Coderre's proposal to ban park drinking at night, he himself flip-flopped on the issue. 

Coderre, whose suggestion to impose an 8 p.m. drinking ban in parks has been intensely scrutinized and even mocked by fellow mayoral candidates, had said that this move would "help citizens regain a sense of calm."

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What did Coderre say about his plan?

In a statement posted to Twitter on June 2, Coderre deplored the "violence on the territory of Montreal, particularly in the parks and in the streets" and criticized Plante's administration as "laissez-faire."

"Police need tools," he wrote. "Temporary measures should be advocated until Montreal gets back to normal."

On Wednesday, MTL Blog asked Coderre's team whether he thought the drinking curfew proposal would deter young Montrealers from voting for him in the next election but did not receive a response.

Coderre backed down on his plan at a press conference on Friday morning.

"For me, the 8 p.m. is not important. Security is important," he said.

"It's not a question of being a 'party-pooper,' [...] but there's a situation [in Montreal]." 

He pointed to incidents of large gatherings in public spaces and reports of gunfire in the city. 

What did the other candidates say about Coderre's drinking curfew?

Montreal mayoral candidate Balarama Holness called out Coderre's drinking curfew plan as a "discriminatory policy that would disproportionately affect young people, marginalized folks, and low-income or unhoused populations in Montreal." 

In a statement, Holness said that "the rationale behind Coderre’s proposed ban — to 'make sure everybody feels safe' — elides histories of racial and social profiling in the city that were made abundantly clear in the OCPM’s report on systemic racism and discrimination in Montreal."

Mayor Valérie Plante, meanwhile, said Coderre's plan was "out of touch with reality." 

The mayoral election will take place in November 2021.