Libman focusing on urban
development in bid for Côte-St-Luc
Former Côte-St-Luc mayor Robert Libman will be running for a third term in the November municipal elections. He launched his campaign Thursday night after some speculation surrounding his candidacy.
As an architect with previous experience on Montreal’s urban planning committee, he said some of his priorities lie in urban development, including the completion of the recently approved Cavendish Blvd. extension, which will lead from Côte-St-Luc to the borough of St-Laurent, and assuring it doesn’t impede on quality of life. He is also focusing on redeveloping the CP rail yards, which he says would add to the city’s tax base.
“One-third of Côte-St-Luc is consumed by the industrial rail yards,” he said. “In 2017, it doesn’t make sense.”
He said that doing so would enable him to bring the city’s tax rates back down by developing residential, commercial and recreational spaces in the area.
Libman’s political career ended after his second term in office in 2005, prior to which he served as a member of the Quebec National Assembly for the riding of D’Arcy-McGee, which includes Côte-St-Luc, Hampstead and parts of Côtes-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
In 2015, he dipped his toes back into the political waters when he ran as a candidate for the federal Conservative party in the Mount Royal district, but lost to Liberal Anthony Housefather.
In the November election, he will be running against current mayor Mitchell Brownstein, who announced his intentions on June 9 to seek another term. In an interview, Brownstein called Libman the “enemy of Côte-St-Luc,” saying the community of city councillors and other suburban mayors of cities that demerged don’t “want someone who turned their back on them.”
Libman has previously come under fire for his position on Montreal’s megacity merger, having been originally opposed but switching his stance and then sitting on the megacity executive committee. He explained that he felt the demerger would not have been advantageous for the borough, with what he calls a “taxation without representation” model.
By having a contested election, Libman said he and Brownstein will have the chance to debate the issues that affect their constituents, which he said would be extremely valuable.
“I hope it really is an issues-driven debate as opposed to personal attacks.”
By Kelsey Litwin, Montreal Gazette.