Denis Coderre

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His Worship
The Honourable

Denis Coderre
Denis Coderre 2011.jpg
44th Mayor of Montreal
Assumed office
November 14, 2013
Preceded by Laurent Blanchard
MP for Bourassa
In office
June 2, 1997 – June 2, 2013
Preceded by Osvaldo Nunez
Succeeded by Emmanuel Dubourg
Personal details
Born (1963-07-25) July 25, 1963 (age 52)
Joliette, Quebec
Political party Liberal (Federal)
Équipe Denis Coderre
Spouse(s) Chantale Renaud[1]
Residence Montreal, Quebec
Profession Insurance broker, public relations officer, announcer

Denis Coderre, PC (born July 25, 1963) is a Canadian politician from Quebec, Canada. On November 14, 2013, he was sworn in as the 44th Mayor of Montreal. Coderre was the Liberal Member of Parliament for the Montreal riding of Bourassa from 1997 to 2013.[2] On November 3, 2013, he was elected as the 44th Mayor of Montreal after winning the 2013 municipal election, as leader of Équipe Denis Coderre pour Montréal.


Born and raised in Joliette, Quebec, Coderre is a political science graduate from the Université de Montréal and completed a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Ottawa. He and his wife Chantale Renaud have two children, Geneviève and Alexandre.

Federal politics[edit]

Unsuccessful Liberal candidate[edit]

Coderre ran unsuccessfully three times prior to being elected: first, in the 1988 election in the riding of Joliette, losing to the Progressive Conservative Party candidate, Gaby Larrivée; second, in a 1990 by-election in the riding of Laurier—Sainte-Marie, losing to Gilles Duceppe; and third, in the 1993 elections in the riding of Bourassa, defeated by the Bloc Québécois candidate, Osvaldo Núñez.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Coderre was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1997 representing the riding of Bourassa, located in Montreal, and was re-elected in the 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011 federal elections.

Cabinet Member[edit]

Coderre entered cabinet in August 1999 when he was appointed Secretary of State for Amateur Sport. In January 2002, he was appointed Immigration minister.

On December 12, 2003, Prime Minister Paul Martin advised Governor General Adrienne Clarkson to appoint Coderre to the Cabinet as President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada where he was responsible for a number of files, such as the creation of the new Public Service Human Resources Management Agency. He was also the Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, the Minister responsible for La Francophonie and the Minister responsible for the Office of Indian Residential Schools Resolution. Coderre was not re-appointed to Cabinet following the 2004 general election, in which he was re-elected in his riding.

As Minister of Immigration, Coderre supervised the application of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which came into effect on June 28, 2002. As Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, Coderre successfully negotiated a number of national and international agreements and helped to establish the World Anti-Doping Agency in Montreal.

Sponsorship Scandal[edit]

During the events of the Sponsorship Scandal Denis Coderre was accused of frequent confidential conversations with Pierre Tremblay, head of the Communications Coordination Services Branch of Public Works.[3] Coderre has denied these allegations. His previous position as vice-president of public affairs for Le Groupe Polygone Éditeurs Inc. is judged to be the key connecting factor. [4] Close links to Claude Boulay of Groupe Everest, another actor in the sponsorship scandal, were also made during the Gomery Inquiry,[5] which cost him his cabinet position in 2004.[6] No legal action has been taken to substantiate or disprove the allegations.[citation needed]

The Shane Doan incident[edit]

During the 2006 election, Coderre accused National Hockey League player Shane Doan of uttering ethnic slurs directed against French-speaking referees at a game in Montreal. Coderre wrote a letter to the Canadian Olympic Committee asking them to keep Doan off Canada's 2006 hockey team competing at the Olympics in Turin, Italy. Globe and Mail columnist Eric Duhatschek noted that "the NHL is tough on ethnic slurs ... if Mr. Coderre has any proof he should produce it. Otherwise he should just shut up." Hockey commentator John Davidson accused Coderre of "grandstanding" and criticized his accusation, saying that "a person shouldn't go stand on a platform and yell and scream about it when he doesn't even know the facts."[7]

Doan was given a gross misconduct penalty for verbal abuse of the officials at the end of the December 13, 2005 game between his team, the Phoenix Coyotes, and the Montreal Canadiens. Referees and linesmen for the game were all francophones from Quebec. Although one of the linesmen, Michel Cormier, filed a report against the player, Doan was cleared by NHL Executive Vice-President Colin Campbell, the league's chief disciplinarian, who concluded that the allegations were baseless. Doan himself has denied that he ever made the ethnic slur.[7]

In January 2006, Doan sued Coderre for character defamation seeking $250,000 in damages with Doan promising to donate all damages awarded to charities to benefit Canadians. On April 2, 2007 Coderre counter-sued Doan for defamation seeking $45,000 in damages after referee Michel Cormier reiterated under oath that Doan made a racist comment against him as a Francophone.

Opposition Member[edit]

Coderre won re-election to the House of Commons in 2006, but the Liberals lost the campaign and became the Official Opposition party. Coderre was the Liberal Defence Critic. In 2007 Coderre made allegations against the previous Chief of Defence Staff General Rick Hillier (retired) of being a "prop".[8] Hillier in return has accused Coderre of being more concerned with party image than in protecting Canadian Forces members.[9] In October 2007, Coderre made a self-planned visit to Afghanistan to visit the war-torn country and the Canadian Forces in the Kandahar region. He criticized the Harper government — who did not invite him on an official tour of the country that was made by Ministers Bev Oda and Maxime Bernier a few days before him — and consequently, Coderre, as Liberal defense critic, had to travel by himself at his own expense, mentioned that the mission in Afghanistan must change in 2009. The government had accused him of staging a stunt while Coderre fired back that the Conservatives overestimated the success of the mission.[10]

Quebec lieutenant[edit]

On January 22, 2009, Coderre became the Quebec lieutenant of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. He had been offered the same assignment by former leader Stéphane Dion, but had declined the offer.[11]

On September 28, 2009, Coderre resigned as Quebec lieutenant because of a disagreement with Ignatieff. Coderre had been tasked with picking 'star candidates' for the next election, attempting to replace Montreal-area MPs Stéphane Dion, Lise Zarac, and Bernard Patry, as well as Laval MP Raymonde Folco, at Ignatieff's request.[12] Coderre had chosen Nathalie Le Prohon to run in Outremont, formerly a Liberal safe seat now held by the NDP's Thomas Mulcair. However, Martin Cauchon was seeking a return to politics and wanted to run in Outremont, a riding he had held for 11 years prior to 2004 when then-Liberal leader Paul Martin would not guarantee Cauchon's nomination. Cauchon had served as Jean Chrétien's Minister of Justice and Quebec lieutenant. Cauchon preferred to seek help from Alfred Apps from Toronto instead of talking to Coderre and his team. Cauchon and Coderre had previously been close when both were part of Chrétien's cabinet, but some suggest that Coderre now saw Cauchon as a potential rival for influence over the Quebec wing of the Liberals, and perhaps in a future leadership convention.[12][13] Ignatieff initially sided with Coderre, then reversed his decision and allowed Cauchon to run in Outremont.[13]

In Coderre's first press conference after resigning as Quebec lieutenant, he criticized Ignatieff's aides, all of whom were from Toronto. Coderre also skipped votes in the House Commons in protest. Ignatieff later warned that Coderre would face expulsion from caucus if he did "any more damage to the party."[14]

In 2012, Coderre confirmed that he would not run for the leadership of the federal Liberal party.[15]

Mayoral campaign[edit]

Coderre resigned on June 2, 2013 to run for Mayor of Montreal.[16][17] He formed the Montreal municipal party Équipe Denis Coderre pour Montréal (alternatively Équipe Denis Coderre) that he is heading for the 2013 Montreal municipal election. He has no previous provincial or municipal experience.

Denis Coderre was elected mayor of Montreal subsequent to the municipal elections of November 3, 2013.[18]

Other activities[edit]

Coderre formerly co-hosted's web segment Ma vie culturelle avec Denis C. with Marie-France Bazzo.[19]


  1. ^ "Denis Coderre: le Rocky de la politique". La Presse, November 9, 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Toronto Star article
  4. ^ "Indepth: Sponsorship Scandal Who's Who". CBC 2004-02-17. Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  5. ^ Gomery Inquiry, summary of the testimony
  6. ^ Elections 2004, report by TVA
  7. ^ a b "Shane Doan takes legal action against Liberal MP". CBC News. January 18, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Liberal slur worst insult, Hillier says". 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  9. ^ A Soldier First. Harper Collins books. p. 421. 
  10. ^ CTV News (2007-10-07). "Coderre arrives in Kandahar to speak with troops". CTV. 
  11. ^ Coderre devient lieutenant politique au Québec, La Presse, January 22, 2009
  12. ^ a b [1]
  13. ^ a b Coderre steps down as Quebec lieutenant
  14. ^ Delacourt, Susan (October 2, 2009). "Rebel Coderre could get the boot". The Star (Toronto). 
  15. ^ "Coderre not running for Liberal leader, mum on mayor's race". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 31 October 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "'Denis Coderre' registered as Montreal political party". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Denis Coderre makes mayoralty bid official amid protests". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Official Website

External links[edit]

27th Ministry – Cabinet of Paul Martin
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
Lucienne Robillard
Special Cabinet Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
Denis Paradis Minister responsible for La Francophonie
Jacques Saada
Ralph Goodale Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians
Andy Scott
26th Ministry – Cabinet of Jean Chrétien
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Judy Sgro
Sub-Cabinet Post
Predecessor Title Successor
Secretary of State (Amateur Sport)
Party political offices
Preceded by
Céline Hervieux-Payette
Quebec lieutenant for the Leader of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Marc Garneau