Mayor Alan DeSousa recently decried the decision to bar him from running for federal liberals. DeSausa had launched his campaign for the nomination just a month ago, which came to an abrupt and suspicious end when he received a letter from the Liberal Party that informed him that he was not considered as a qualified candidate for nomination.
This brought DeSousa’s dream of taking over the seat Stephane Dion left vacant to a halt, but Saint Laurent’s long running mayor is not going down without a fight. What DeSousa can’t understand is to why the Liberal Party did not bother to offer a reason to their sudden decision. According to DeSousa, the Liberal Party refused to provide an explanation in its decision when contacted citing that the matter was ‘confidential.’
With DeSousa apparently out of the race, Yolande James, a former provisional Liberal cabinet minister is not the front runner in the campaign. James is 39, and has remained a regular contributor to Radio-Canada’s popular show Le Club Des Ex, and has also worked as a political columnist for CBS Montreal. What’s interesting with this whole debacle is that along with her ties to the provincial Liberals, James has connections to their federal counterparts. In fact, one of her former chiefs of staff is now working for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Meanwhile, DeSousa has vowed to challenge the decision, calling the entire selection process opaque. DeSousa, who is in his late 50s is a chartered accountant by training and only joined the Liberal Party a month ago. But, DeSousa did remain a key member of former Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay’s administration before it collapsed in 2013. Early on in his leadership, Trudeau had pledged to have open nomination races in all 338 ridings in the country, putting an end to the practice of allowing certain candidates to skirt local nomination battles. While speaking to the press, DeSousa reminded the prime minister of that promise.