Many Montrealers were deeply saddened yesterday to hear that, after a struggle with pancreatic cancer, the city's 39th mayor, Jean Doré, has passed away at the age of 70.
Although the former politician accomplished quite a bit during his lifetime, many of us took his achievements for granted. As of last fall, even his Wikipedia page contained mostly information about his terminal illness and a brief statement explaining that he had served two terms as mayor from 1986-1994.
In November 2014, in the interest of informing the public of the changes he enacted as Montreal's mayor, Doré gave interviews to journalists in which he described some of his many accomplishments. We've complied a list of 10 of his most notable successes here.
1. He brought change to the city.
Doré was elected in 1986, after 29 years of rule under his predecessor Jean Drapeau, who many considered to be an autocratic leader. Doré came into power with his Montreal Citizen's Movement party, which won 55 of 58 seats when he was elected.
2. He was important for the role of women in Montreal politics.
Doré appointed the first female chairperson of Montreal’s executive committee, Léa Cousineau.
3. He made the city's politics more transparent.
He unlocked the front doors of the main entrance of city hall, which Drapeau had kept locked during his his reign. He also introduced a public question meeting into city council meetings, allowing citizens to ask questions of the mayor and council members.
4. He helped make biking around Montreal even easier.
Under his administration, 150 km of bike path was built around the city.
5. He founded a public beach on Île-Notre-Dame.
This past April, city hall finally named it after him, but it had been his brainchild all along.
6. He fought to improve race relations in the city.
He instituted affirmative-action hiring policies for municipal jobs, and also founded a race-relations committee.
7. The Biodôme opened under his administration.
Who doesn't love the Biodôme?
8. He was an environmentalist.
He passed regulations which protected Mount Royal against excessive development.
9. He led the city's fight against Apartheid in South Africa.
He required city contractors to promise they didn't invest in South African Apartheid. Additionally, he welcomed Nelson Mandela to city hall when he visited in June 1990.
10. He brought cooperation to the city's politics.
He worked with the Parti Québécois and the Liberals to pass a bill through the National Assembly.
Doré will be remembered through his wife, Christiane Sauvé, and his two daughters, Amélie and Magalie.
Source: The Montreal Gazette