Scandal-Plagued Montreal Gets First Anglophone Mayor in 100 Years
For the first time in 100 years, Montreal has an anglophone mayor following a string of improbable events that rocked the administration of a scandal-weary city.
Michael Applebaum won a vote at city council, 31-29, to become the city’s first non-francophone mayor since just before the First World War.
He will be an interim mayor and will serve for only a year, with a promise not to run in the next municipal election of November, 2013.
Anglophones in Quebec rarely hold such prominent political roles.
In the municipality of Montreal itself, only 13 per cent of people claim English as their mother tongue; the language is regularly spoken, however, by many of the 47 per cent of people who are not original French-speakers.
The notion of an Anglo mayor would have seemed stunningly unlikely just a few weeks ago, while the city was involved in one of its periodic linguistic debates during a provincial election campaign where language tensions figured prominently.
The political rarity was made possible by a string of spectacular developments. As late as last week, Mr. Applebaum appeared to have a slim chance of success - but he went about building support, and was helped along by a unique set of circumstances.