MONTREAL – The mayor of Montreal, a city awash in problems lately, is being asked about troubles in another city for a change.
Mayor Michael Applebaum is used to being grilled about police corruption investigations at city hall; a historic boil-water advisory; chronic shutdowns of the city’s subway system; and pothole problems because the city’s usual asphalt suppliers have been tied up in scandals.
Today, however, he’s being asked about Rob Ford.
Applebaum says it’s not up to him to pass judgment on the performance of the Toronto mayor, who is losing staff members after being accused of smoking crack — an allegation Ford denies.
Applebaum says it’s his job to serve Montrealers, and Ford can look after Toronto.
The interim mayor reiterated, though, that he won’t be serving in his current position for too much longer. Applebaum insists he will keep a promise he made last year, when he got the temporary post, not to run again in November’s municipal elections.
Recent polls have suggested his presence might have reshaped the race and complicated life for the presumed front-runner, Liberal MP Denis Coderre.
Coderre recently announced that he’s running to become the next mayor.
Applebaum called the arrival of Coderre good for democracy, adding that the more people who present themselves for the job, the better it is for the city and for voters.
A web poll conducted in May by CROP for La Presse revealed that among 14 potential candidates for mayor, he ranked a close second in popularity to Coderre.
Applebaum has also rejected the idea of a tandem or coalition with any of Montreal’s municipal parties. He says he will be an independent candidate for mayor of his Montreal borough.
He made his comments today at Montreal city hall while sporting an Ottawa Senators jersey.
That’s because he lost a bet with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson on the outcome of the first-round NHL series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Senators. Ottawa took the series in five games.
The loser had agreed to wear the winning team’s jersey and also fly the NHL team’s flag inside city hall for one week.