Action Laval members celebrate fifth anniversary

‘Action Laval’ members celebrate their fifth anniversary
From the left, Independent city councillor David De Cotis, Action Laval Interim Leader Achille Cifelli, Chomedey city councillor Aglaia Revelakis and Senator Leo Housakos during the Action Laval brunch.
Martin C. Barry

When friends and supporters of the Action Laval municipal party gathered at the Palace convention centre for their annual brunch last Sunday morning, they held a double celebration.

Not only was it the fifth anniversary of the founding of the party, but it was also the fifth consecutive year for Aglaia Revelakis as the Action Laval city councillor for the district of Chomedey.

A base of supporters

More than 400 people – including many moms, dads and kids – turned up for the event, which drew some notable people from other levels of politics.

Among them were Senator Leo Housakos, Laval-les Îles Liberal MP Fayçal El-Khoury, Alfred-Pellan Liberal MP Angelo Iacono, Montreal city councillor for Park Extension Mary Deros, and Independent Laval city councillor David De Cotis (formerly deputy mayor and former vice-president of the city’s executive-committee).

‘Action Laval’ members celebrate their fifth anniversary
Action Laval councillor for Chomedey Aglaia Revelakis had to wipe away tears at times while acknowledging the applause and appreciation from party members during a fifth anniversary brunch held at the Palace last Sunday.

Crossing all boundaries

Housakos acknowledged it isn’t often a member of Canada’s Upper Chamber sees fit to outwardly express support for a deserving municipal representative.

“I don’t support municipal political parties and haven’t since I got named to the Senate – but I do support people who have integrity and who work hard for their constituents,” said Housakos, whose principal residence is in the Montreal borough of Saint-Laurent, although he was raised in Laval and his parents still live here.

‘Action Laval’ members celebrate their fifth anniversary
Members of the organizing committee of the Action Laval brunch are seen here at the Palace with Action Laval city councillor Aglaia Revelakis and interim leader Achille Cifelli (both at centre).

Has Senator’s support

“I never forget that, even though I’m in the Senate of Canada, that politics is local and is always about people. And Aglaia Revelakis is one of those municipal politicians who loves her community, loves the people she represents and is a tireless servant for them.”

Although De Cotis – who founded the Mouvement Lavallois but had a falling out last June with Mayor Marc Demers – now sits as an independent member of the opposition, he said in an interview with the Laval News that he is still a Mouvement Lavallois card-carrying member.

“My status is that I’m still with the Mouvement Lavallois,” he said, noting that he renewed his ML membership last May. “I still have a membership with the Mouvement Lavallois party. I’m here today just to support the strong opposition that’s required in the City of Laval for the people of Laval to have a true and democratic process.”

Constructive criticism

Action Laval was founded in 2013, on the eve of the elections of the same year, by former Laval mayoralty candidate Jean-Claude Gobé and a few supporters.

Since then, Action Laval members have distinguished themselves in and outside Laval city council with rigorous criticism of the Demers administration, along with what they says is an unconditional defence of the interests of Laval residents. Today, the party is led by Achille ‘Archie’ Cifelli, serving as interim leader, and is represented on Laval city council by its sole elected member – Aglaia Revelakis.

Five years of work

“Five years now,” said Cifelli. “We have been working for five years to represent the interests of thousands of Laval residents, to defend their rights and to promote their interests. But also five years that Aglaia Revelakis has proudly represented Action Laval at city hall. We are proud of her work.”

Cifelli declared that a 3-step plan to get Action Laval ready for the next election in 2021, and which was first presented to the media last May, is being followed. It consists of the following: To re-structure Action Laval with new bylaws; To elect a new Leader, through a democratic process; To convince voters that Action Laval is the alternative to Marc Demers and to win the next elections.

Moving forward, says Cifelli

“The first step is completed,” continued Cifelli. “We will invite the members to the general assembly at the beginning of 2019 to adopt our new bylaws. We are moving forward.” It was with a standing ovation that Revelakis stepped onto the stage to speak in English, French and Greek. Holding back tears at times, she thanked the citizens of Chomedey for their support and confidence.

“I am privileged and honored to represent an district that is so unique,” said Revelakis. “Chomedey is the district that is the most mosaic in Laval. For this reason, Chomedey is in my heart. As the municipal councillor for Chomedey, I have been present for my citizens and I work for them to help find solutions to their problems. The citizens of Chomedey are my priority. Chomedey is my priority.”