Balarama Holness, the former Montreal Alouette Grey Cup champion who aspires to be a “Canadian Barack Obama,” is running to be the Mayor of Montreal.
The 36-year-old educator, broadcaster, former McGill law student, community organizer, and jurist will run against current mayor Valérie Plante and former mayor Denis Coderre during this November’s municipal elections.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, Holness said he would head a new municipal party called Movement Montreal under the campaign motto “People before politics.”
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Holness says Movement Montreal is “focused on energizing the city by serving and representing all Montrealers.” He says his party’s new approach to political organizing, campaigning, and policy-making will “prioritize peoples’ needs, support their aspirations, and give them a voice.”
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 pic.twitter.com/xVdMilmAmX
— Balarama Holness (@BalaramaHolness) May 20, 2021
Holness says Movement Montreal will prioritize job security, affordable housing, and access to cheaper public transit.
The Montreal native won a Grey Cup Championship with the Alouettes in 2010. He ran for Projet Montréal in the 2017 municipal election but did not win a seat on the city council.
He founded the active lobby group “Montreal in Action” in 2018.
Holness says he will announce his candidacy at Montreal City Hall later Thursday morning.