Political activist Balarama Holness created a stir on the municipal political scene when announced his candidacy for mayor of Montreal on the morning of Thursday, May 20.
His announcement at a news conference in front of city hall followed an early morning tweet: A fresh vision to energize Montreal: I’m officially running for Mayor of our city! My team and I have decided to launch @Mouvement_MTL, a political party that prioritizes your needs, supports your aspirations, and empowers your voice. #mvmtMTL #CityUnited #polMTL
The former Montreal Alouettes cornerback who won a Grey Cup championship with the team in 2010, enters the race with a well earned profile as a political activist after the group that he founded Balarama Montréal en Action launched a successful petition that forced the Valerie Plante administration to hold public consultations into systemic racism.
In announcing his candidacy Holness unveiled his new political party, Movement Montreal.
This is his second run in municipal politics having been a candidate Plante’s Project Montreal in the 2017 elections. He ran for borough mayor in Montreal North but was easily defeated by Ensemble Montreal’s Christine Black.
Holness, whose father is Jamaican and mother Quebecer, is the first minority candidate to stage a serious run at the mayoral level in Montreal.
In launching his campaign the 37 year old promised to bring “new blood, new ideas” to the political table.
He will be up against Plant and former mayor, Denis Coderre, who served as mayor from 2013 to 2017 in the November elections.