Stéphane Boyer obtains a strong mandate to become City of Laval’s next mayor
Who will form the next Official Opposition on Laval city council?
On Monday earlier this week, that was the burning question being pondered by election officials at Laval city hall, as election runner-ups Action Laval and the Parti Laval jostled in a tense neck-and-neck situation to see which would wear the mantle in the aftermath of Sunday’s municipal elections.
Boyer decisively elected
About one thing there was no uncertainty: Stéphane Boyer clearly won the mayoralty race for the Mouvement lavallois, receiving 41.53 per cent support from the City of Laval’s voters.
However, a district-by-district vote count on Monday showed the Parti Laval and Action Laval less than 900 votes apart in overall support, with the former favoured to become the official opposition after having served in that role for the past four years.
The new council seat count
As the dust settled, the new seat count in Laval city council showed the Mouvement lavallois having won 14 districts, Action Laval taking five, and the Parti Laval winning two.
The five elected Action Laval city councillors are Aglaia Revelakis (Chomedey), David De Cotis (Saint-Bruno), Paolo Galati (Saint-Vincent-de-Paul), Achille ‘Archie’ Cifelli (Val-des-Arbres), and Isabelle Piché (Saint-François).
Piché is the spouse of De Cotis and their presence together on city council as part of the opposition promises to deliver some potentially-interesting “tag team” dynamics.
A sixth possible seat for Action Laval was the district of Renaud, where AL candidate Grace Ghazal and the Mouvement lavallois’s Seta Topouzian were separated by just 23 votes.
Two seats for Parti Laval
Incumbent Parti Laval city councillor for Fabreville Claude Larochelle was confirmed the winner in his district with 48.11 per cent support.
Former francophone school board president Louise Lortie won a second city district for the Parti Laval in Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, taking over the seat vacated by Michel Trottier who was the party’s unsuccessful mayoralty candidate.
In an interview with the Laval News inside the Mouvement lavallois’s chosen election night venue in Carlo & Pepe’s at the Centropolis, mayor-elect Stéphane Boyer said he was “very proud of the results tonight. We see it as a vote of confidence in the Mouvement lavallois for the good work we’ve done for the last few years. We’re very happy to see these results tonight and we’d like to thank all the population.”
Boyer to follow through on pledges
While Boyer said the new administration will be following through on its platform commitments, including new sports infrastructure, and the purchase of additional forestlands and green spaces, “I also want to have a bigger focus on housing to make sure that we have affordable housing for everyone,” he added, noting that his administration would also like to improve security in all the districts with a greater police presence and increased enforcement of traffic regulations near schools.
Regarding the Aquatic Complex project to be built next to the Cosmodôme, the new mayor said the project has been submitted to a second round of tendering for bids, and envelopes containing offers from contractors “should be opened in the coming weeks. We absolutely want to move forward with this project.”
AL leader’s future uncertain
At Action Laval headquarters on Saint Martin Blvd. near de l’Avenir, the mood was more subdued last Sunday evening. In an interview with the Laval News, party leader and mayoralty candidate Sophie Trottier, who finished the race with 24.16 per cent support (one percentage point behind the Parti Laval’s Michel Trottier), was uncertain about her future.
“Right now, honestly, we’re going to need to sit down and talk about the options,” she said, referring to the party membership.
(Following Action Laval’s poor results after the 2013 election, party founder and mayoralty candidate Jean-Claude Gobé gradually receded from public consciousness).
“I never abandon people in life,” said Trottier. “What’s going to be my role exactly? We’ll see. But when the time comes, we’ll be making an official statement.”