Applebaum sworn in as Montreal’s interim mayor Monday morning


MONTREAL – This week marks the beginning of the Applebaum era at city hall.

Michael Applebaum will be sworn in as the 42nd mayor of Montreal on Monday at 10:30 a.m., taking over the top job at city hall from Gérald Tremblay.

Applebaum had the option to be sworn in as mayor on Friday afternoon, but decided to wait until Monday so he could invite close friends and family to attend the ceremony at the hall d’honneur of city hall.

Most of the city councillors are also expected to be on hand.

Once he is sworn in, he will resign as borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

One of Applebaum’s first moves will be to set up a new executive committee.

Mayor-elect Applebaum has already said that the chairman of the executive committee will have to be an independent councillor not aligned with any of the three main parties.

If a party representative takes the position of chairman, he or she will be obliged to leave the party.

There are reports that Applebaum will choose three representatives from Louise Harel’s Vision Montreal and two from Richard Bergeron’s Projet Montréal.

Neither of the two parties was able to confirm this on Sunday.

Applebaum has also said that no one who is planning on running for mayor in 2013 would be allowed to sit on the executive committee, which would presumably rule out Bergeron and Harel.

The first city council meeting with Applebaum as mayor is set for Monday afternoon. There is some confusion as to how the council is going to function, given the huge changes in the past few weeks.

With Tremblay’s Union Montreal in power, Vision Montreal was the first opposition party, which gave it certain rights and budget.

Does it now become the second opposition party and Union Montreal the first opposition party? Even insiders within the parties weren’t sure on the weekend.

The other priority for the new regime is reworking the budget and reducing the tax hike recently announced by Tremblay.

A spokesman for Applebaum said they want the budget to be passed by early December.

There were media reports Sunday that Laurent Blanchard from Vision Montreal would be the new chairman of the executive committee, but Applebaum’s spokesman said the mayor-elect has yet to make that decision.