Mayor Applebaum surrounded by proud family members shortly after being sworn into office

It was an honour for me to attend today’s swearing in of the 42nd mayor of Montreal, Michael Applebaum, representing the Jewish General Hospital as well as the city of Cote Saint-Luc. The Hall of Honour was packed with city councillors and community leaders from many cultural and religious communities as well as from the civil service and other walks of life.

Applebaum’s rise to power marks much more than the first Anglo mayor in a century and the first Jewish mayor (since the last acting Jewish mayor in 1927).

It marks a point in Montreal and in Quebec where we have moved past language issues to select a leader based upon skill, integrity and commitment. This moment in time is about unification rather than division, about a political maturity.

I hope that the opportunities that lie ahead for Montreal to rebuild its political image and rebrand the city are successful. And most of all I hope that the future for all who reside on the Island of Montreal and throughout Quebec will be a bright one.

That’s a tall order for Mayor Applebaum but he is driven and committed and I wish him the very best in this challenging year.