Media looks at Housefather as cabinet potential

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Newspapers across Canada are mentioning newly elected Mount Royal M.P. Anthony Housefather as a possible cabinet contender in the Trudeau government. Here are some clippings.

Cabinet contender Anthony Housefather (Photo: Montreal Gazette)

Cabinet contender Anthony Housefather (Photo: Montreal Gazette)

The Montreal Gazette has listed Housefather as a cabinet contender:

Though a fresh face on the federal scene, Housefather, 45, is an old hand at politics.

He has been involved with the Liberals in Mount Royal since he was a teenager. He first won an election — for a Hampstead city council seat — in 1994 at age 24. Currently mayor of Côte-St-Luc, he is a former president of Alliance Quebec.

With two law degrees and an MBA under his belt, Housefather is also a champion swimmer, having won seven medals at the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Though a long shot for a cabinet spot, Housefather could sneak in as a reward for saving Mount Royal riding for the Liberals and managing to increase the party’s vote percentage.

The Conservatives threw everything they had at the riding, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper even launching his 2015 re-election campaign there. In the end, Housefather beat Conservative Robert Libman by 6,104 votes.

Ironically, the Gazette also posted a rather unflattering photo of Robert Libman under the banner “High Profile Losers.”

The former Equality Party MNA and ex-mayor of Côte-St-Luc put on a spirited campaign to unseat the Liberals in this fortress, which is about one third Jewish.

After an acrimonious campaign in which the Conservatives suggested Justin Trudeau was not a strong defender of Israel, Libman mustered 18,213 votes (38 per cent).

But it wasn’t enough. Liberal Anthony Housefather was chosen by 24,317 voters (just over 50 per cent, an increase over the 41 per cent obtained by retiring Liberal MP Irwin Cotler in 2011).

It’s the second high-profile failure for the Conservatives in Mount Royal. In the last election, Conservative Saulie Zajdel also ended in second place.

Radio-Canada also mentioned Housefather as a possible new entry into a cabinet post.

The Kelowna Daily Courier lists Housefather’s name under the headline: “Embarrassment of riches: plenty of cabinet material in Trudeau’s new caucus.”

The National Post says Housefather is one to watch for consideration in cabinet.

I am holding out hope (and sending a message to PM-Elect Justin Trudeau) that Anthony will be named a cabinet minister, or junior minister, possibly overseeing Sports across Canada.


Anthony Housefather with his seven swimming medals at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, summer 2013

Anthony Housefather with his seven swimming medals at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, summer 2013

Read and watch more:

Global News

Sad farewell at City Hall (Global News)

Canadian Jewish News

The Suburban



Today is our day – To vote

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Anthony Housefather

Anthony Housefather

Today, October 19, is Election Day.

In Mount Royal, please place your confidence in our Liberal candidate, Anthony Housefather. Committed to his constituents, Anthony promises to work hard and represents all facets of the Mount Royal riding.

During the past weeks, it has  become clear that more and more Canadians are turning to Justin Trudeau and the Liberal team, and with your vote and those of your friends and neighbours, we hope that Justin will be able to form the next Federal government.

Meeting with Justin Trudeau, M.P.

Meeting with Justin Trudeau, M.P.

Anthony will surely be an integral part of that team, but in order to get there we need all of our supporters to ensure that they cast their ballots.

If you have any questions for the Housefather campaign, feel free to call us at 514-576-4785.

Thank you in advance for your support.


Anthony Housefather with Bonnie Feigenbaum, David Lisbona, Glenn J. Nashen, Mark Merson, Sonny Moroz and other volunteers in a 'bermashave' on October 8, 2015 on Fleet Road

Anthony Housefather with Bonnie Feigenbaum, David Lisbona, Glenn J. Nashen, Mark Merson, Sonny Moroz and other volunteers in a ‘bermashave’ on October 8, 2015 on Fleet Road

Housefather packs TMR Town Hall, Libman a no show

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Mario Rimbao, Dennis Trudeau and Anthony Housefather at the TMR candidates debate. Missing from photo is Robert Libman who refused to participate.

Mario Rimbao, Dennis Trudeau and Anthony Housefather at the TMR candidates debate. Missing from photo is Robert Libman who refused to participate.

Mount Royal candidates Anthony Housefather (Liberal Party of Canada) and Mario Rimbao (NDP) debated before a full house at City Hall in the Town of Mount Royal last night. Conservative candidate Robert Libman refused to attend, advising the moderator by way of a written statement minutes before the scheduled debate that he would not participate.
Housefather was invited to the debate by Philippe Roy, Mayor of TMR. The debate was organized by the TMR municipal citizens association.  Unfortunately Robert Libman, the Conservative candidate, did not attend the debate and put out a statement stating his refusal to attend was linked to support for the BDS movement by the President of the municipal association.  Anthony pointed out at the debate that both he and the Liberal Party strongly oppose BDS but that this opposition was even more of a reason for Anthony to participate in the debate and forcefully make that point.
“This debate, the only one in TMR, a very important part of the riding centered on local TMR issues and environmental, domestic and international issues,” Housefather said.
When receiving questions on Israel Anthony made the same forceful defence of Israel that he has made in front of Jewish audiences.  “It is easy for a candidate to defend Israel in front of a largely Jewish audience but the real test of a candidate is being able to make the same statements in front of people who may disagree with you,” he said.  The debate was expertly handled by the municipal association which remained strictly neutral and Dennis Trudeau the moderator.
Listen to Dennis Trudeau reading Libman’s statement:
Housefather, alluding to Libman’s refusal to participate, began his remarks stating it’s very easy to only debate before a friendly crowd where everyone agrees with you. “But I’m not afraid to come to come to TMR and make a statement (in support of Israel) where some people don’t agree with me.”
Listen to Anthony Housefather’s opening remarks:
The two participating candidates debated everything from airplane noise to climate change, mail delivery to foreign policy, military investment to job creation.
Moderator Dennis Trudeau kept the event moving along allowing for many questions from the crowd, many of whom were annoyed that the Conservative candidate chose to ignore TMR residents.
Speaking on the issue of Canada Post home mail delivery Housefather said, “Under the Harper government plan we would be the only country in the western world to end home delivery. This is blatantly unfair to seniors and the disabled. And not consulting with local representatives is completely unacceptable. A Liberal government would end this right away.”
“Anthony and I are on the same page. Stephen Harper made the biggest mistake,” Rimbao said.
Anthony Housefather debates Mario Rimbao with moderator Dennis Trudeau
Anthony Housefather debates Mario Rimbao with moderator Dennis Trudeau
Housefather said he has a proven track-record on environmental issues citing his achievements as mayor. “I lead my city to become tops on green issues. We were the first in the region to begin composting, we are big into waste diversion and recycling. We began an urban agriculture movement and we’re on the verge of finally saving Meadowbrook,” he said. “Harper leads the only government that withdrew from the Kyoto Accords,” adding that a Liberal government will provide real leadership in climate change and environmental issues.
On the issue of security and Bill C-51, “Harper wants you to think there’s a terrorist around every corner. We need to balance security with freedom. You need to be pragmatic and reach consensus. Harper could easily have achieved consensus in Parliament. He could have created an oversight committee as requested by the Liberals,” Housefather said.
“How would your government support the refugees flooding into Europe?” asked the moderator.
“We need to help. Bringing people is part of the solution but doesn’t solve for millions being displaced,” Housefather said. “We need to send much more relief to those leaving their countries. Canada has been an expert in this for many years. But we need to solve larger problems in the region and help people where they are, over there.”
Rimbao agreed with Housefather. “This should not be a divisive political issue. As Canadians we should be proud to support people in need.”
Further, on the foreign policy theme Housefather said, “A reformed United Nations is the best route to fix some of the evils in the most challenging parts of the world. The U.N. has lost our respect in many areas, citing the preposterous example of Saudi Arabia presiding over the Human Rights Council. “What’s wrong is that Harper doesn’t work with world leaders to convince them of his principled foreign policy. If he doesn’t agree, he shuts the door, just like his local candidate who didn’t show up to debate tonight.  Harper should show up on the world stage and dialogue and try to convince people of Canada’s position, not stay away from the table,” he said to loud applause.
Housefather stated that the Liberals have the exact same position on Israel as the conservatives with one exception. “We do not believe that Israel should be a political wedge issue,” he said, again to the delight of the audience. “Support for Israel started not under Harper but with former Prime Minister Paul Martin. Justin Trudeau has been very clear on his intention to continue strong, principled support of the Jewish State.
On Israel:
On the issue of airplane noise the NDP would put penalties if noise is not reduced and change flight paths. The Liberal candidate said that the airport authority should have municipal representation, make sure curfew is respected. “I’d work with all mayors on the island to deal with this problem,” Housefather said.
“Improve safety and move pipelines out of major urban centres. The Liberal Party is committed to solutions. The Conservatives have not moved fast enough in redesigning oil tanker train cars,” Housefather stated referring to the riding being home to the second largest rail yard in eastern Canada.
Rimbao said, “You need strong safety procedures. The Harper government cut funding to scientists and research. How can we improve the situation if we do not carry out proper research?”
The first questioner criticized Libman for staying away saying that we don’t all agree with each other’s beliefs but as candidates it’s incumbent to show up and to state their opinions, to say what they agree or disagree with.
Asked what he would do specifically for the riding Housefather said he would lobby for funding for priorities, citing railway safety, the Cavendish extension, congestion and exppansion around the 15 and 40. “I would hold public information meetings throughout the riding on a regular basis,” Housefather added.
Another resident took to the microphone and thanked Housefather and Rimbao for showing up rather than the one candidate (Libman) who stayed away. The questioner asked if they were for or against reopening the Canadian embassy in Iran. Housefather responded, “We would not reinstate until security concerns are cleared. Our issues aren’t with the Iranian people. It’s with their regime. We should have embassies to represent Canadian interests, to protect Canadians citizens to support Canadian business people and to speak out against those regimes that we do not agree with. There’s no reason to close an embassy because we don’t agree with their regime,” Housefather said. “Harper hasn’t closed the Venezuelan embassy, yet Chavez is completely anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Yes, we need to ensure the security of our embassy staff and represent our interests everywhere.”
The third questioner also said it was too bad that Libman was not there. “Strange way to support Israel by staying away,” he chimed in.
Yet another questioner decried the irony that Harper’s commendable position on foreign policy is not backed up with investment in the military. “They study and study but they haven’t delivered the goods.”
Housefather remarked, “Harper hasn’t planned to replace fighter jets or ice breakers. We need to properly equip our armed services to protect Canadians. While Harper talks about it he doesn’t do it.”
A TMR resident asked about Trudeau’s position on Israel. “The Liberals have the exact same position on Israel as the Conservatives with one exception. We do not believe that Israel should be a political wedge issue,” Housefather stated. “Support for Israel started, not under Harper, but with former Prime Minister Martin. Justin,” he said. “Justin Trudeau has been very clear on this issue.”
Housefather gave an impassioned closing to the audience. “I have proven my dedication serving the public for 21 years. I also bring my business experience as a lawyer in a multinational corporation. On October 19, I ask you to vote for the best candidate to support you in Mount Royal riding.”
Concluding remarks:

Mount Royal: Israel Policy Key In Battle For Liberal Stronghold

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The battle in Mount Royal is representative of a larger fight between Liberals and Conservatives.

Source: Mount Royal: Israel Policy Key In Battle For Liberal Stronghold


In my opinion: An excellent article by the Huffington Post that gives a balanced look at the race in our riding. Once again it shows that Anthony Housefather is up against Stephen Harper, not Robert Libman, and pretty much on the Israel issue alone.

As important as Israel is to members of the Jewish community, we are voting for or local representative in Parliament, both of whom are supporters of Israel, quite obviously. Both of their leaders are supporters of Israel. Both will continue to support the Jewish State in Parliament, at the U.N. and around the world. They’ve said so publicly. So vote for the best candidate!

Also, a pretty cheap shot by Libman in criticizing the city councillors for supporting Housefather. Libman would only wish to get some local elected folk to support him. Having broken his promise on demergers it is instructive that city councillors are not throwing support behind Libman. To suggest councillors are being paid by the city to work on a federal campaign is false and defamatory and Libman should be ashamed to be spewing such nonsense.

Mount Royal Liberal hopeful gets prominent local backing

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Mount Royal Liberal candidate Anthony Housefather, centre, gets the backing of Lawrence Bergman, left, and Marvin Rotrand. JANICE ARNOLD PHOTO


MONTREAL — Liberal Anthony Housefather’s bid to become the next MP for Mount Royal has received a major boost, with ringing endorsements from the dean of Montreal city council, Marvin Rotrand, as well as former D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman and Russell Copeman, borough mayor of Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce.

A broad spectrum of cultural community, municipal and public school representatives were also on hand to give their support to Housefather at the official opening of his campaign office Sept. 9.

Rotrand, who has represented the Snowdon district for 33 years, said Housefather is “honest, dedicated, competent, progressive – wonderful traits that speak to his potential to fill those big shoes left by [retiring MP] Irwin Cotler.”

Rotrand read out the names of a long list of people from the Filipino, Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Armenian, Muslim and other communities who are endorsing Housefather. From the Jewish community, he cited Aline Malka of the Sephardi community; Lubavitch Rabbi Mendy Zirkind; David Lisbona, associated with B’nai Brith; and Sid Kronish, president of the Côte St. Luc Senior Men’s Club.

Housefather’s campaign office is in Côte des Neiges, a highly multicultural area, and gives Housefather visibility outside his natural base in Côte St. Luc and Hampstead.

Housefather, who has been Côte St. Luc mayor for 10 years, also has the backing of English Montreal School Board chair Angela Mancini and all eight Côte St. Luc city councillors, as well as others from Hampstead and Town of Mount Royal.

Rotrand praised Housefather for having rallied a multicultural network around him that reflects the diversity of the riding, and of Canada itself.

Rotrand stressed that a longstanding bond exist between ethnic groups and the Liberal Party because of its traditional support for multiculturalism.

“It was [former prime minister] Pierre Trudeau [Mount Royal’s MP for 20 years] who was against the discriminatory law on people of colour immigrating,” Rotrand said, to wild cheers.

“The difference between my campaign and that of my opponents in this riding, is that they are trying to get the support of one community,” Housefather said. “We are working for the support of every community.”

This was an apparent reference mainly to Conservative candidate Robert Libman, who has been emphasizing Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “unequivocal” support for Israel in his campaign.

New Democratic candidate Mario Jacinto Rimbao, who is prominent in the Filipino community, was campaigning a block away outside the Plamondon metro station, along with Jimmy Gutman, president of the Mount Royal NDP riding association.

Libman was at a seniors’ residence delivering Rosh Hashanah food baskets, prepared at the Mada Community Centre.

Bergman, who served 20 years in the National Assembly, called Housefather “a man of honour and great integrity, tremendous competence and disciplined in his work… He loves all Canadians, whether they were born here or chose to come to our shores, no matter their colour, creed, religion or country of origin.”

Bergman said he “will work hard to get my friends and family to vote for him, too.”

It was recalled that Housefather fought more than a decade ago for the de-merger of Côte St. Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West from the new island-wide city, while Libman, then Côte St. Luc mayor, was castigated for reneging on his promise to support de-merger. “He ran to get elected on that promise and did the exact opposite,” said Housefather.

Housefather also invoked the name of the elder Trudeau for his championing the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, and noted that he himself had spent his public career fighting for minority rights.

“Immigration is a richness, not something to be afraid of,” said Housefather.

– See more at:



Cultural community leaders, local elected endorse Housefather

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Anthony Housefather wows the packed crowd as he launches his campaign headquarters

Anthony Housefather wows the packed crowd as he launches his campaign headquarters

At the formal opening of his new campaign office in Côte des Neiges, Liberal candidate Anthony Housefather revealed several major endorsements for his campaign to become the next Member of Parliament in the Mount Royal riding.

The heavyweight endorsements include Côte des Neiges – Notre Dame de Grace Borough Mayor Russell Copeman, Snowdon City Councillor Marvin Rotrand and all eight Côte Saint-Luc city councillors, former D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman, English Montreal School Board Chairman Angela Mancini,Vice-Chair Sylvia Lo Bianco and Commissioner Syd Wise and 50 well-known leaders of cultural community organizations present in Mount Royal. These names are added to current Mount Royal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who already endorsed Housefather.

“We have confidence in Anthony,” indicated Copeman and Rotrand. “We’ve worked closely with him over the years in his capacity as a municipal elected official. He is competent, dedicated and progressive with an exceptional record in articulating and defending the needs of minorities.”

Cote Saint-Luc Councillors Mike Cohen, Ruth Kovac, Dida Berku, Allan J. Levine, Steven Erdelyi, Glenn J. Nashen, Mitchell Brownstein, and Sam Goldbloom have all endorsed Housefather and are urging Côte Saint-Luc and other riding residents to vote Housefather and the Liberal team.

“The Government of Canada is changing on October 19,” said Councillor Mike Cohen. “Anthony Housefather will be the strong voice for the Jewish community and other communities that our constituents are seeking.”

Lawrence Bergman who served as a member of the Quebec National Assembly for 20 years, indicated that Housefather had an established record in working in a multicultural milieu promoting tolerance, harmony and cooperation.

The 50 cultural community leaders of major organizations serving the Filipino, Bangladeshi, Indian, Sri Lankan, Jewish, Lebanese, Iraqi, Chinese and Black communities were also present to voice support for Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s vision of an inclusive Canada and to back Housefather and a change in government.


Global News

What a great Parliamentarian he will be, former PM says of Housefather

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Mitch & Elaine Brownstein, Anthony Housefather and Glenn J. Nashen welcoming fmr. PM Paul Martin to Cote Saint-Luc on July 14, 2015

Mitchell & Elaine Brownstein, Anthony Housefather and Glenn J. Nashen welcoming fmr. PM Paul Martin to Cote Saint-Luc on July 14, 2015

Former Prime Ministers don’t mince words. They say it like it is. And so it was earlier this week at the home of Councillor Ruth Kovac and her husband Peter as they welcomed the former PM to Cote Saint-Luc along with an impressive crowd of Anthony Housefather supporters. The fundraiser was held in support of Housefather’s campaign for the upcoming federal election on October 19.

Housefather, Mayor of Cote Saint-Luc welcomed the group and thanked everyone for their “substantial” support. He began by highlighting the reasons why he wants to represent the people of Mount Royal riding as as Member of Parliament.

Using Housefather’s pride in building the CSL Aquatic and Community Centre as an example, he said, “What I learned from Paul Martin is that you never spend more money than budgeted,” he said, saying he helped deliver this major project on-time in 11 months and $800,000 under budget.

Anthony Housefather and Paul Martin with CSL seniors Ron Rush, George Nashen and 101 year old Mr. Fishman

Anthony Housefather and Paul Martin with CSL seniors Ron Rush, George Nashen and 101 year old Hyman Fishman

“Why am I running? Because I believe that one person can make a difference and can stand up and be counted,” Housefather said, citing many examples of his leadership over the last many years as Mayor and previously as City Councillor. Demerger, fighting the PQs Bill 14 that would have taken away bilingual status, opposing the PQ’s so-called ‘Charter of Values’ and advocating for safer rail cars are some examples where Housefather has spoken out and made his opinions known locally and in the national media.

I know international business and travel the world as a lawyer in a multinational corporation. Our riding is full of business people and Ottawa could use people like me that understand business and how to drive our economy,” Housefather said.

“What a great Parliamentarian he will be!” Martin roared to the crowd to great applause.  “Anthony, you are going to shake that place up! When you give your speech in the House of Commons, you will bring the roof down,” the former PM exclaimed. Those in attendance clearly agreed.

Martin was Prime Minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006 and Minister of Finance from 1993 to 2002. During his tenure as Minister of Finance, he erased Canada’s deficit, subsequently recording five consecutive budget surpluses while paying down the national debt and setting Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio on a steady downward track. He was the inaugural chair of the Finance Ministers’ G-20 in 1999. During his tenure as Prime Minister, he set in place a 10 year, $41 billion plan to improve health care and reduce wait times; signed agreements with the provinces and territories to establish the first national early learning and child care program and created a new financial deal for Canada’s municipalities. Under his leadership the Canadian government reached an historic deal with Aboriginal people of Canada to eliminate the existing funding gaps in health, education and housing known as the Kelowna Accord.

After leaving politics, Martin founded the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative focusing on elementary and secondary education for Aboriginal students and the Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship (CAPE) Fund, an investment fund investing in Aboriginal business.

Speaking about the Liberal Party of Canada and its staunch support of the State of Israel, Martin maintained that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and the party stand strongly by the Jewish State. He said Liberals and Conservatives agree on its support of Israel and said Harper should not play politics where Israel is concerned.

Housefather and Martin

Housefather and Martin


“I do not think it is fair for Harper to pretend that only his party supports Israel,” Martin said, adding that it was when he served as Prime Minister that Canada’s voting record at the United Nations shifted to vote against anti-Israel resolutions and noted that the present day Liberal Party would have the same strong support for Israel when they form the government.

“One of my great heroes was Shimon Peres. I went to Israel and met with him. There is a deep emotional tie,” Martin said of his and of Canadians’ support of Israel.

“I can’t get Anthony elected. You can,” the former PM said, encouraging strong support of Anthony Housefather.

Also in attendance was Marlene Jennings, former MP for NDG as well as the Council of the City of Cote Saint-Luc along with business, community and religious leaders.

Justin Trudeau will be in the riding for a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday,  July 21 (7:30 p.m.) at the Shaare Zion Congregation on Côte Saint-Luc Road. He will be joined by Mayor Housefather and take questions from the floor.




With additional reporting by Mike Cohen. Read more on Cllr. Mike Cohen’s blog.

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