07/03/2013 19:17 EDT | Updated 09/02/2013 05:12 EDT

Montreal mayoral candidate Côté unveils coalition

Economist Marcel Côté is the latest of four candidates for mayor of Montreal.

He launched his campaign to head a coalition party this morning with the support of some veteran local politicians, including Marvin Rotrand, formerly of Union Montreal.

“Montreal has to re-become a winning city,” Côté exclaimed during the news conference to announce his candidacy and the forming of the Coalition Montreal.

Rotrand, the councillor for Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, called the coalition a “great idea,” saying that it would allow voters to choose councillors based on ability and not ideology.

He added that the coalition approach is the new model of municipal politics.

“I don’t want to go back to the old days,” Rotrand said.

On Tuesday, Vision Montreal leader Louise Harel announced she had changed her mind and would not run for mayor, instead throwing her and her party’s support behind Côté.

Côté said he plans to build a coalition of federalists and sovereigntists, anglophones and francophones and many other diverse groups in Montreal.

The relatively unknown mayoral hopeful said he has strengths that opponent and former Liberal MP Denis Coderre lacks.

“I don’t come from politics. I come from management, basically, and I have work extensively on the Montreal issues,” Cote said.

“But that’s for the people to decide -- compare the two. He’s better known than me at this time. I hope by election time, I’ll be as well-known as he is.”

Coderre maintained he is the man for the job, drawing on his experience as a federal MP and a longtime Montrealer.

“I’m from Montreal North, which is clearly a microcosm of what Montreal is all about,” Coderre said.

His own team is, according to Coderre, a collection of qualified individuals working together outside of ideologies to make Montreal a better city, though he was reluctant to call it a coalition.

“Everyone will run under my banner but after that there will be no party line,” he said.

Projet Montreal leader Richard Bergeron had strong words for those forming and joining coalitions.

He said it was up to the population to decide between political opportunists and people devoted to making Montreal a better place.

Côté is a respected and respectable businessman, Bergeron said, but he said he doubted that made him a qualified candidate for mayor.