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Michael Applebaum

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Michael Applebaum
42nd Mayor of Montreal
In office
November 16, 2012 – June 18, 2013
Preceded by Jane Cowell-Poitras (Acting)
Succeeded by Jane Cowell-Poitras (Acting)
Borough mayor for Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Montreal City Councillor
In office
January 1, 2002 – November 21, 2012
Preceded by Position created
Succeeded by Lionel Perez
Chair of the Montreal Executive Committee
In office
April 6, 2011 – November 21, 2012
Preceded by Gérald Tremblay
Succeeded by Laurent Blanchard
Montreal City Councillor for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
In office
November 6, 1994 – December 31, 2001
Preceded by Claudette Demers-Godley
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born Michael Mark Applebaum
(1963-02-10) February 10, 1963 (age 54)
Political party Parti des Montréalais (1994-1995)
Independent (1995-1998)
Nouveau Montréal (1998-2001)
Union Montréal (2001-2012)
Independent (2012-)
Spouse(s) Merle Applebaum[1]
Residence Montreal, Quebec
Occupation Real estate agent

Michael Mark Applebaum (born February 10, 1963) is a former Canadian politician, who was selected by councillors as interim Mayor of Montreal on November 16, 2012.[2] A longtime city councillor in Montreal, Quebec, he served as the borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce from January 1, 2002 to November 21, 2012, upon becoming interim mayor of the city.[3]

Prior to November 14, 2012 Applebaum was part of the Union Montréal party.[4] Applebaum was first elected as city councillor for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce on November 6, 1994 as a member of the now defunct Parti des Montréalais.[5] Before being elected to city council, he was a real estate agent.[6]

Applebaum was the first anglophone to hold the office (not counting interim officeholders) since the end of James John Guerin's term in 1912.[7] He was also the first Jew to assume the office of mayor of Montreal.[8]

On June 17, 2013 he was arrested and indicted on 14 charges including fraud, conspiracy, breach of trust, and corruption in municipal affairs.[9] On June 18, he announced his resignation of Mayor of Montreal, maintaining that the allegations against him were unfounded. He was released from police custody and made his first court appearance on October 9, 2013.[10]


Applebaum was born in Montreal the third child of Ray and Moishe Applebaum, Canadian Jews,[11] and was raised in Saint-Laurent. He worked at his family's eponymous shoe store since the age of 13, and opened his first clothing boutique at 18 while studying at Dawson College. He later took over the shoe store and became a real estate agent.[12]

Applebaum is involved in the Jewish community, and is supportive of Israel.[13]

Applebaum married in 1984. He and his wife Merle have three children.[14]

Executive committee

Mayor Gérald Tremblay appointed Applebaum to the Montreal Executive Committee in January 2009.[6] At one point he was the member responsible for Sports & Recreation.

He was promoted by Tremblay to chair of the executive committee on April 6, 2011.[15] His responsibilities included urban planning and buildings, finances, borough relations, human resources, administrative services, and corporate communications.[16] He resigned from his position as chair of the executive committee on November 9, 2012, although he retained his position as mayor of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.[17]


Following Tremblay's resignation on November 5, 2012, Applebaum was believed to be a strong contender to win Union Montréal's nomination as its new mayoral candidate.[2] However, he was passed over in favour of councillor Richard Deschamps.[2]

An anonymous colleague told reporters that Applebaum's candidacy had been rejected because his French language skills were not strong enough to be mayor of an 80 percent francophone city.[7] However, several francophone councillors disputed that claim, saying that Applebaum speaks credible French. Notably, Vision Montreal leader Louise Harel told The Gazette, "I wish I could speak English as well as [Applebaum] speaks French."[18]

He subsequently left Union Montréal to sit as an independent councillor and submitted his name as an independent mayoral candidate. He argued that in light of the corruption crisis facing the city, notably among the ruling Union Montreal party, the interim mayor should be independent of party affiliation.[2] In the final city council vote on November 16, 2012, Applebaum won 31 votes to Deschamps' 29.[2] He won in part by reaching out more actively than Deschamps to the opposition Vision Montréal and Projet Montréal parties and the bloc of independent councillors who resigned from Union Montréal in the same period, most notably by promising to share seats on the Montreal Executive Committee in a non-partisan coalition.[2]

Applebaum pledged not to run for mayor in the 2013 municipal election, indicating that he would instead run for another term as borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.[2]

Corruption arrest and trial

Applebaum was arrested by Quebec's anti-corruption unit UPAC at his home on June 17, 2013. He initially faced 14 charges including fraud, conspiracy, breach of trust, and corruption in municipal affairs. The charges stem from alleged acts which occurred before Applebaum became mayor. Officials said they relate to real estate projects between 2006 and 2011 when Applebaum served as borough mayor.[9] Charges were also simultaneously laid against former city councillor Saulie Zajdel and Jean Yves Bisson, a city bureaucrat.[19]

According to an arrest warrant filed in court, Applebaum allegedly engaged in two separate criminal conspiracies, the nature of which officials did not initially disclose. However, Radio-Canada reported that they involve the demolition of a residential building and the construction of condominiums, and link Applebaum to a Laval-based engineering firm central to the municipal corruption testimony being heard at the Charbonneau commission. In addition, Radio-Canada, citing police sources, said the police were investigating a $50,000 payment to Applebaum as well as a $15,000 payment made to Zajdel.[20]

On June 18, 2013 Applebaum announced his resignation of Mayor of Montreal, maintaining that the allegations against him were unfounded.[10] He hired Marcel Danis, a criminal lawyer and former federal Member of Parliament, as his defence attorney.[21]

In October 2013, charges against him were widened to encompass ten major real estate transactions between 2002 and 2012 in Côte-des-Neiges.[22] He is not currently in police detention. His preliminary hearing was scheduled for June 2015, immediately before Zajdel's trial.[23]

On January 26, 2017, Applebaum was found guilty of eight corruption-related charges.[24]

Applebaum was given parole two months after he began serving a one-year jail sentence. Applebaum was released after serving one-sixth of his sentence. He must also serve two years of probation.[25]

Electoral record (partial)

Montreal municipal election, 2009: Borough Mayor, Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Union Montreal Michael Applebaum 17,409 52.19 +4.08
Projet Montréal Carole Dupuis 8,678 26.01
Vision Montreal Brenda Mae Paris 5,686 17.04 −9.28
Montréal Ville-Marie Jacqueline Sommereyns 1,586 4.75
Total valid votes 33,359 96.86
Total rejected ballots 1,082 3.14
Turnout 34,441 36.09
Electors on the lists 95,431
Source: Election results, 2009, City of Montreal.

Montreal municipal election, 2005: Borough Mayor, Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
Party Candidate Votes %
Citizens Union Michael Applebaum 14,646 48.11
Vision Montreal Sonya Biddle 8,013 26.32
Team Jeremy Searle Jeremy Searle 5,949 19.54
Independent Alexandre Montagano 1,837 6.03
Total valid votes 30,445
Source: Election results, 1833-2005 (in French), City of Montreal.


  1. ^ "Interim Mayor Michael Applebaum, with his wife, Merle Applebaum, at his November swearing-in". The Gazette. May 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Michael Applebaum elected mayor of Montreal". CTV News, November 16, 2012.
  3. ^ "Michael Applebaum". UnionMontreal. 
  4. ^ "Mairie: Union Montréal implose". Le Devoir, November 14, 2012.
  5. ^ Montreal Election 1994 - Summary results (In French)
  6. ^ a b Moore, Lynn (2012-11-08). "Who will be Montreal's interim mayor?". The Gazette. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Montreal gets first anglophone mayor in a century". Toronto Star, November 16, 2012.
  8. ^ "Michael Applebaum Is First Jewish Montreal Mayor. Also First English Speaker To Lead French Canadian City". Jewish Daily Forward. JTA. November 18, 2012. Retrieved June 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. ^ a b "Mayor of Montreal arrested". AP. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum resigns". Toronto Star, June 18, 2013.
  11. ^ "Montreal Births". The Canadian Jewish Review. March 1, 1963. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  12. ^ Bruemmer, René (2012-11-22). "Applebaum: It's time to work for the citizens of Montreal". The Gazette. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Arnold, Janice (2012-11-19). "Montreal gets its first Jewish mayor". The Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "Applebaum, Michael". Qui est qui du Québec. June 18, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Applebaum new executive committee chair". CBC News. 6 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "Mr. Michael Applebaum". 
  17. ^ Lalonde, Michelle (2012-11-09). "Applebaum resigns from Montreals's executive committee". The Gazette. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Anglo question dogs Michael Applebaum in bid to be interim mayor of Montreal". The Gazette, November 15, 2012.
  19. ^ "Ex-Tory adviser Saulie Zajdel arrested in corruption probe". CBC News, June 17, 2013.
  20. ^ Allan Woods, Julian Sher (June 17, 2013). "Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum charged with 14 offences". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Former MP to represent Applebaum". The Gazette, June 18, 2013.
  22. ^ "Ex-Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum Faces Wider Corruption Probe". The Jewish Daily Forward, October 4, 2013.
  23. ^ "Applebaum’s preliminary hearing set for June 2015". The Gazette, March 10, 2014.
  24. ^ Jaela Bernstien (January 26, 2017). "Ex-Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum found guilty of 8 corruption-related charges". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  25. ^

External links