So Benoît Labonté is running for the Vision Montreal leadership. Try to contain your shock.
After leaving Gérald Tremblay’s Montreal Island Citizens’ Union party and being coy about whether he would join the opposition, then joining the opposition and being coy about whether he’d run for its leadership, he’s running for its leadership and I can only assume desperately searching for something else to be coy about.
Considering even well-informed Montrealers would be hard-pressed to name a single other member of the Vision Montreal party (Pierre Bourque? No, he retired, remember? Yeah), the chances of Labonté facing real opposition is about on par with the Quebec government announcing fast-track funding for a West Island metro extension. Nevertheless, he’s putting quite a bit of effort into his campaign, because he’s really starting his run for mayor.
He’s setup a website (look how visionary and leaderistic he looks, staring off to the side with a mild squint). It has some working links, including to his Facebook and MySpace profiles, and a blog at the easy-to-remember URL of http://www.benoitlabonte.org/content.aspx?ID=40d78367-3534-455c-9ed7-6641f3a220d1
I know I’ll be typing that one into my browser every morning.
He’s also on the YouTubes, his first video showcasing why he’s not just some other boring ex-businessman running for mayor:
- He left the governing party over fundamental disagreements with its leader, though he couldn’t name any specifics other than “they’re not doing enough”
- He introduced a plastic bag recycling system to replace the messy green boxes downtown. So now instead of a zero-waste system that was so successful it was overflowing, the borough has to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars buying and distributing millions of special plastic bags to residents who will just turn around and dispose of them, which might happen cleanly assuming that they aren’t mistaken for garbage bags or ripped open by homeless people looking for returnable bottles and cans
- He introduced the Parco-don, a voluntary parking meter that accepts all those pennies we have no other use for, and distributes the money raised to homeless people (assuming, of course, that the loose change brought in is higher in value than the cost of emptying the machines regularly).
- He created places for kids to graffiti legally, thereby solving Montreal’s graffiti problem forever.
- He wants to make downtown streets, like Ste. Catherine Street in the Gay Village, pedestrian-only in the summer, an idea he and Tremblay are fighting over credit for.