Frank Venneri

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Frank Venneri
Montreal City Councillor for the François-Perrault ward
(known as the Jean-Rivard ward from 2001 to 2009)
In office
Preceded by Nicole Roy-Arcelin
In office
Preceded by Vittorio Capparelli
Succeeded by ward redistributed
In office
Preceded by Rocco Luccisano
Succeeded by Vittorio Capparelli
Personal details
Political party Montreal Citizens' Movement (1986-1989)
Montreal Municipal Party (1989-1992)
Civic Party of Montreal (1992-1994)
Montrealers' Party (1994-1995)
Vision Montreal(1998-2003)
Union Montreal (2003-2012)
Independent (2012-)

Frank Venneri is a politician in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He served on the Montreal city council from 1986 to 1990, was re-elected in 1998, and has been returned to council in every election since then. Venneri is an independent councillor.

Private career[edit]

Venneri owned a hairstyling salon for over two decades before his election to city council and served as president of the Saint-Michel Optimist Club.[1] He owned a men's hairstyling salon during his time out of council in the 1990s. In 1995, he spoke against a proposed municipal by-law to permit hair salons in private homes.[2]

First council term (1982–86)[edit]

Venneri was first elected to council in 1986 municipal election for the east-end François-Perrault division. Running for the progressive Montreal Citizens' Movement (MCM), he defeated incumbent councillor Rocco Luccisano of Civic Party of Montreal (CPM).[3] The MCM won a landslide victory in this election under Jean Doré's leadership. Venneri was initially a backbench supporter of the Doré administration and served as a city representative on the regional Montreal Urban Community.[4]

In 1987, Venneri spoke against Miron Inc.'s plans to continue operating a cement-mixing business near his ward that had long been subject to complaints about noise, pollution, and heavy traffic. Miron's original quarry site had been purchased by the city in 1984 and shut down, but, due to an administrative error, the company later received a permit to build a new factory in the same area. The Montreal executive committee later revoked Miron's permit, but Venneri charged that the company did not immediately comply with this decision.[5] The city was ultimately able to take over the site without incident, and the quarry was demolished a year later.

Venneri ran as a Progressive Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the 1988 Canadian federal election in the division of Papineau—Saint-Michel. As the MCM's constitution prevented party members from running for other parties (at any level of government), he was required to resign from caucus and sit as an independent councillor.[6] Some political pundits believed that Venneri could win election to the Canadian House of Commons, but he ultimately finished second against Liberal incumbent André Ouellet.[7]

Venneri did not rejoin the MCM after the federal election, and he formally severed his ties with that party in November 1989 to join the newly formed Montreal Municipal Party (MMP).[8] He ran under the latter party's banner in the 1990 municipal election and was defeated by fellow incumbent Vittorio Capparelli, an MCM councillor whose previous ward had been eliminated by redistribution.[9]

Out of council[edit]

The MMP fell victim to internal divisions after the 1990 election, and in 1992 the party leadership announced plans to merge with the Civic Party. The merger never formally took place, but many Municipal Party members later joined the Civic Party as individuals. Venneri was among these, serving as the CPM's vice-president in an unsuccessful attempt to relaunch the in during the buildup to the 1994 municipal election.[10] The CPM was unable to find a mayoral candidate, and in August 1994 Venneri helped merge the venerable organization into the newly formed Montrealers' Party. Venneri himself was the CPM's interim president and de facto leader in the final days of the party's existence.[11]

Venneri ran for the Montrealers' Party in the 1994 municipal election and finished third against Vittorio Capparelli, who had by this time joined the Vision Montreal (VM) party. The Montrealers' Party dissolved the following year, with Venneri remarking that its questionable financial strategies had doomed it from the start.[12]

Return to council (1998–)[edit]

Venneri was re-elected to Montreal city council as a Vision Montreal candidate in the 1998 election in a rematch against Capparelli, who had left Vision Montreal the previous year and rejoined the MCM. Vision Montreal won a council majority, and Venneri served for the next three years as a backbench supporter of Pierre Bourque's administration. He was re-elected in the 2001 election for the redistributed Jean-Rivard division; Gérald Tremblay's Montreal Island Citizens Union (MICU) won this election, and Venneri served with the official opposition.

In December 2003, Venneri and five other Vision Montreal councillors left Bourque's party to join MICU. This allowed Tremblay to consolidate his majority on council, and in January 2004 Venneri was named vice-chair of Montreal's finance committee.[13] He was re-elected as a MICU candidate in the 2005 election, again defeating Capparelli, who had by this time rejoined Vision Montreal. The Jean-Rivard electoral division was renamed as the François-Perrault division for this election, though it had different boundaries from the previous division of that name.

Venneri remained vice-chair of Montreal's finance committee after the election and also served on the city's committee on services to residents.[14] He was elected to a fifth term on council in the 2009 municipal election, for Tremblay's renamed Union Montreal party. He resigned from Union Montreal on November 14, 2012, shortly after Tremblay resigned as mayor amid the backdrop of a serious corruption scandal.[15]

By virtue of holding his city council seat, he also serves on the Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension borough council.

Electoral record[edit]

2009 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, François-Perrault division
2005 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, François-Perrault
2001 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, Jean-Rivard
1998 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, François-Perrault division
1994 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, François-Perrault division
1990 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, François-Perrault

Canadian federal election, 1988: Papineau
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal André Ouellet 18,122 45.99 $43,413
     Progressive Conservative Frank Venneri 13,094 33.23 $39,468
New Democratic Giovanni Adamo 5,948 15.10 $22,192
Rhinoceros Carole Ola Clermont 987 2.51 $0
Green H. Joseph Vega 469 1.19 $0
Communist Line Chabot 235 0.60 $18
     N/A (Marxist-Leninist) Francine Tremblay 193 0.49 $130
     N/A (Revolutionary Workers League) Michel Dugré 178 0.45 $513
Commonwealth of Canada Normand Bélanger 174 0.44 $0
Total valid votes 39,400 100.00
Total rejected ballots 907
Turnout 40,307 70.14
Electors on the lists 57,470
Source: Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Thirty-fourth General Election, 1988.
1986 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, François-Perrault


  1. ^ Ingrid Peritz, "Dore, MCM sweep to power," Montreal Gazette, 10 November 1986, A1; Robert Winters, "Who is who in the new MCM administration; MCM backbenchers will demand more say in decision-making than Drapeau-era councillors," Montreal Gazette, 15 November 1986, A4.
  2. ^ "City will rethink new bylaw allowing hair salons in homes," Montreal Gazette, 14 September 1995, A4; Michelle Lalonde, "Choquette runs old-style campaign," Montreal Gazette, 18 October 1994, A1.
  3. ^ Several years later, Venneri said that he joined the MCM because of its decentralized approach to municipal government. See Lison Budzyn, "Frank Venneri : « J’ai l’âge de la retraite mais j’ai l’envie de continuer »", Journal de St-Michel, 30 September 2009, accessed 19 August 2011.
  4. ^ Ingrid Peritz, "Dore, MCM sweep to power; New mayor controls 55 seats to rivals' 3," Montreal Gazette, 10 November 1986, A1; "The MICU Chief and Mayor of Montreal GDerald Tremblay [sic] presents his new team in the Villeray / Saint-Michel / Parc-Extension borough," Canada NewsWire, 21 June 2005, p. 1.
  5. ^ "Councillor proposes a deal to end Miron dispute," Montreal Gazette, 19 September 1987, A3; "Miron will face court action if it doesn't close, councillor warns," Montreal Gazette, 16 September 1987, A3; Clair Balfour, "What constitutes big news remains a judgment call," 13 October 1987, B3. The 19 September article includes the incorrect statement that Venneri had tried to work out a deal for Miron to receive a two-month extension on its cement operations in return for a promise to shut down the site thereafter. In fact, Venneri proposed that the company be allowed to continue its administrative office work for two months while discontinuing its cement operations immediately.
  6. ^ "MCM splits with Tory councillor," Montreal Gazette, 13 August 1988, A4.
  7. ^ Bertrand Marotte, "Liberals struggle to maintain hold in Montreal," Globe and Mail, 22 November 1988, C2.
  8. ^ "MCM loses two councillors from its ranks," Montreal Gazette, 1 December 1989, A3.
  9. ^ Lynn Moore, "Challenger celebrates `win over confusion'," Montreal Gazette, 5 November 1990, A4.
  10. ^ Michelle Lalonde, "Leader quits, once-powerful Civic Party in tatters," Montreal Gazette, 29 June 1994, A3.
  11. ^ Michelle Lalonde, "Civic Party planning to team up with Choquette," Montreal Gazette, 29 July 1994, A3; Graeme Hamilton, "Tattered remnant of party founded by Drapeau dies Monday," Montreal Gazette, 6 August 1994, A3; Susan Semenak, "Drapeau's party disappears; Civic Party name dies in municipal merger," Montreal Gazette, 9 August 1994, A1.
  12. ^ Monique Beaudin and Helena Katz, "Choquette party may pull plug on itself," Montreal Gazette, 19 April 1995, A1.
  13. ^ Sue Montgomery, "Tremblay gets six new councillors," Montreal Gazette, 13 December 2003, A8; Linda Gyulai, "Mayor plays the suburb card," Montreal Gazette, 26 January 2004, A4; "Tremblay purges independents: New allies on council named to committees," Montreal Gazette, 27 January 2004, A7.
  14. ^ "City wages war on dirt," Montreal Gazette, 26 May 2006, A7.
  15. ^ Chaos and politicking at city hall as Union Montreal loses majority, CTV Montreal, 14 November 2012, accessed 14 November 2012.

External links[edit]