In 2017, the election of Projet Montréal and mayor Valérie Plante shook local politics. Plante, the first woman to be mayor of Montreal, defeated popular incumbent Denis Coderre with her soaring promises of radical transit intervention and more transparent governance.
In the year and three months since its election, the Plante administration has made some impressive gains (and commands a speedy response time to constituent complaints) but is beleagured by somewhat negative public perception.
Plante has further made only symbolic progress on her most ambitious campaign promise: the construction of a new STM pink line from Montreal North through downtown to Lachine.
TL;DR Speaking to the press, Denis Coderre suggested his interest in returning to municipal politics, even running against Valérie Plante in the next election.
Stop wasting our money stay in Montreal you have no dealings on federal level they are not gonna give you your pink line. Go back to Montreal you one term mayor and do your damn job— Mark Osseyrane (@Dragoonomegaps4) January 28, 2019
Is #Projetmontreal looking for a miracle to clear up the streets?— FaMi (@FMianji) February 2, 2019
When it’s about towing cars and giving tickets, you guys are super quick, when it’s about clearing snow from the streets, it takes whole winter! #ValériePlante
This vulnerability presents Plante's opponents with an opportunity. The opposition is likely already planning for the next municipal election, still likely years away.
That might be why former mayor Coderre is teasing a political comeback.
Speaking to the press at an event at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Coderre several times suggested his interested in reclaiming a role in municipal politics, evening running against Plante in the next election.
When speaking about his future plans, Coderre was notably coy, coupling contentment with his loss with optimism for his political future.
Bonne soirée ;) pic.twitter.com/VKliXhGiUd— DenisCoderre (@DenisCoderre) January 19, 2019
Coderre also cited Jean Drapeau, Montreal mayor between 1954-1957 and 1960-1986, as precedent for a similar comeback, according to the Montreal Gazette.
In the interview, Coderre demonstrated restraint in his criticism of mayor Plante, but made clear that, were he mayor, his priorities would be markedly different.
That Coderre was so willing to muse about his political future before members of the press certainly indicates an intention to explore the possibility of another term. His careful language seems to prove that this interview was a calculated political move.
Bravo mon frère :) pic.twitter.com/c7vEwLpzS7— DenisCoderre (@DenisCoderre) December 20, 2018
In the coming months, Coderre may reach out to party leaders to gauge interest in his return.