Réal Ménard, who has represented Montreal’s Hochelaga-Maisonneuve riding since 1993, is running for Montreal city council on mayoral candidate Louise Harel’s slate. This will open up an iron-clad Bloc riding for a by-election, and I think it’s safe to assume the NDP candidate in the riding will campaign against the Conservatives while the Conservative candidate campaigns against Michael Ignatieff or, if he or she is particularly slow-witted, against Stéphane Dion.
Montrealers are all aflutter over the Harel candidacy because she’s a long-time Parti Québécois cabinet minister (responsible for the mega-city fusions that created the sprawling heffalump that is today’s Montreal) and she essentially doesn’t speak English. So a lot of anglophones don’t like her, and many people who get upset when anglophones express emotions are angry in return. I can’t get too fussed over any of this. Anyway, Ménard has been around Ottawa forever, he’s a pleasant fellow and a strong public speaker, and we’ll miss him.