David De Cotis launches re-election campaign

Laval executive-committee v.p. is also Mouvement Lavallois’ founder

Martin C. Barry

More than 700 devoted followers of the Mouvement Lavallois turned out at the Embassy Plaza on Aug. 28 to help launch the 2017 election campaign of the man credited as the party’s founder – David De Cotis.

While a Laval-area Liberal MNA came out recently to support another municipal party’s mayoralty candidate, De Cotis (who is Laval’s executive-committee vice-president as well as the councillor for Saint-Bruno) has the backing of Vimont Liberal MNA Jean Rousselle.

MNA supports De Cotis

“I am here this evening because there are lots of people who are going to say ‘You’re taking sides,’” Rousselle said. “Yes I am taking sides. I will normally not get involved in municipal politics – except this evening. Why? Because I am with David De Cotis and I will explain to you why. I am doing this not as an MNA but personally.”

Rousselle recounted knowing De Cotis since the summer of 2007, which was two years before the 2009 Laval city election. “It’s a guy who takes to heart what he does,” he said. “What he does he does from the heart and he does it for the people.”

Incumbent mayor Marc Demers said he had “always been impressed by David De Cotis, but his capacity to bring people together is phenomenal and we see the proof of it here this evening. It’s not easy for a politician to draw and bring people together for such a large gathering.” According to Demers, De Cotis talked him into becoming the ML’s 2013 mayoralty candidate.

A picture in an article on the Laval News
Mouvement Lavallois founder David De Cotis, right, gets a standing ovation during the launch of his campaign to be re-elected city councillor for the district of Saint-Bruno.

Praise from the mayor

“He was one of the first citizens to stand up and say enough is enough, things have to change,” he added regarding De Cotis’s first attempts as far back as 2007 to dethrone Laval’s long-reigning former mayor Gilles Vaillancourt. “He had the courage and the persistence to denounce the practices during that era. He fought against the established power. You must remember that it wasn’t easy at the time.”

Demers compared the financial standings of the ML to Vaillancourt’s Parti PRO back then, which were $9,000 for the former and $1.2 million for the latter respectively (not including what the Parti PRO was hiding elsewhere.) “If you have a difficult mission and you’re not sure you can win, the person you want on your team is David,” said Demers.

“David is someone courageous and determined. Laval owes him a lot. Those who know him are not surprised. David is a hard worker. He doesn’t count his hours. David is someone filled with passion who devotes all his energy to his political commitment – which is rare. He isn’t in politics for power or prestige. If that were the case he wouldn’t have spent years fighting against the most powerful mayor of the era.”

A picture in an article in the Laval News
Mayor Marc Demers and Laval executive-committee vice-president David De Cotis, who is running for re-election in Saint-Bruno.

Loving wife’s support

De Cotis’s wife, Isabelle Piché, who assisted her husband during the Mouvement Lavallois’s early days, maintained that the party’s name was inspired by a TV commercial for a major Canadian retail chain. “But I can tell you it hasn’t been easy being the wife of the leader of a new political party,” she said, noting she spent many an evening dining alone while her husband was busy assisting the party.

Lise Lalande, executive-director of the Société Alzheimer Laval, said De Cotis, the councillor for the district of Saint-Bruno who is also vice-president of Laval’s executive-committee, responded immediately when the Société Alzheimer asked for help nearly four years ago.

“David is a person of action and is very devoted, generous and transparent,” she said. “As a municipal councillor, he also likes to improve life in his district, while creating opportunities to bring people together in the community.”

Picture in an article in the Laval News
De Cotis’s wife, Isabelle Piché, spoke of the sacrifices involved in being the spouse of a leader in a political party.

Alzheimer Society

As an example, she referred to De Cotis’s creation of the Fête de Quartier de Saint-Bruno, from which the proceeds have been donated annually over the past few years to the Société Alzheimer. “On behalf of all those we help, we thank David for his commitment, which also attests to his compassion,” she said. “Thank you David for helping us to spread hope and the Société Alzheimer supports your candidacy.”

For his own part, De Cotis said that when he looks back on the first days of the Mouvement Lavallois, “it started from nothing but has gone far. I see Laval as a city that is developing in the present, but also in context to the future.” He said he was inviting the population of Laval to give the ML another mandate so that it can pursue the work started in 2013.