Formerly, a real estate agent, forty-nine year old Michael Applebaum has now been sworn in as Montreal’s newest mayor.
The first anglophone mayor since 1912, he is also the first Jewish person to be mayor since Joseph Schubert, who served as the city’s acting mayor for three months in 1927.
Applebaum first ventured into city politics in 1994, when he was elected as a councillor for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) borough in west Montreal and he has been the mayor of NDG since 2002.
He mentioned in his swearing-in speech that he first entered municipal politics over the issue of the closing of hockey rinks in his borough
He is married with three children.
In November 2012, Applebaum resigned from the Union Montreal party, where he’d been the Chair of the Executive Committee since 2011. His resignation came just after that of Mayor Gerald Tremblay.
Applebaum was passed over as a mayoral candidate by Union Montreal colleagues in favour of Richard Deschamps.
One of the unofficial reasons for not putting him forward as a candidate to replace Tremblay was the fact that French was his second language and he spoke it “hesitantly.”
He then declared himself an independent candidate and quickly formed alliances with members of opposition parties and other Union Montreal members who had resigned from the party.
He was elected mayor in a secret ballot on Friday, November 16, 2012.
He promised not to run for mayor of Montreal when general elections are called next November and he made it a prerequisite that other members of Montreal’s new executive committee must also promise not to run for mayor next year.
Applebaum says that he will run again to regain his position as mayor of Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace.