Martin C. Barry
More than 500 Mouvement Lavallois members attended the municipal party’s seventh annual fundraising brunch on April 24 at the Embassy Plaza where they heard party leader Mayor Marc Demers deliver an assessment of the ML’s latest accomplishments leading towards the 2017 municipal election.
“It’s seven years we’ve been doing this,” Laval executive-committee vice-president David De Cotis, widely regarded as the ML’s founding member, said in a pre-brunch interview with the Laval News. “Every year the event gets bigger and bigger and the tickets sell quicker each time. It’s all good news and we’re very happy.”
In contrast to the various creative and complex means the administration of disgraced former mayor Gilles Vaillancourt used to raise money for the defunct Parti PRO des Lavallois, the ML’s annual brunch is one of the only ways of fundraising that Demers’s party relies on.
“This sort of public financing allows us to be independent,” Demers told the Laval News. “This way we don’t owe any big amount of money to anybody and we make decisions based only on what’s in the interest of citizens.”
The ML’s financing method stands in stark contrast to a major element in the Parti PRO’s fundraising approach revealed during Charbonneau Commission hearings, which was closely tied to the awarding of municipal contracts to public works companies from whom a percentage of their payments would be skimmed and kicked back to the Parti PRO.
What’s in store for ML?
Demers was asked by the Laval News to state what he believes is the future of the Mouvement Lavallois. “It’s very promising,” he said. “We are healthy financially and I think people support us as you can from the turnout. I think we are working very well as a team together and things are going good and as we planned. We’re quite happy with the turnout today.”
In his summary of the party’s accomplishments, Demers noted that the City of Laval’s economy is on the upswing following some initial doldrums after the revelations of corruption at Laval city hall during the Vaillancourt administration. He also mentioned the fact the City of Laval has been taking a stand against Canada Post’s plan to abandon door-to-door delivery, that Laval is also against the Energy East pipeline, and that municipal arenas all over the island are being renovated while public library branches are being updated.
New logo and name unveiled
Later during the gathering, De Cotis revealed the ML’s new name and logo: henceforth the party will be known as the Mouvement Lavallois-équipe Marc Demers. “An image is important as it allows people to make a first impression for themselves,” he said. “We wanted something that reflected the professionalism of our team. A quality visual identity is a form of respect for the hundreds of members of the party who wish to see themselves in an image that reflects their values.”