Mayor Marc Demers and council campaign for ‘Bowember’

Mayor Marc Demers and council campaign for 'Bowember'
Mayor Marc Demers surrounded by his loyal female councilors and president for the black bow tie event.

“Step up to help, buy a black bow tie, join the ‘Bowember’ campaign in the fight against prostate cancer” – says Mayor Marc Demers

 Renata Isopo

At the November meeting of Laval City Council, mayor Marc Demers elegantly sported a black bow tie looking rather debonair, as did other members of Council who also wore the tie. The black bow tie has become the symbol of the fight against prostate cancer in Québec.

Demers humbly kicked off the meeting by publicly revealing his personal battle with this insidious disease that afflicts so many men throughout the world. He assured that his illness is under control and not at a life-threatening stage.  “It is the least aggressive form,” he stated.

More importantly, he also declared his active support of the campaign to raise public awareness of prostate cancer, calling for community involvement in helping to raise funds for research into the causes of the cancer and toward the development of treatment and eventual cures for those affected.

Proudly pointing to the black bow tie he was sporting, the veteran politician and ex-police officer threw out a challenge to everyone in the Council chamber and beyond to endorse the “Bowvember” campaign by buying a bow tie. The money raised goes directly to support programs and projects sorely needed to help save lives.

Demers, ever the eloquent and articulate speaker in both of Canada’s official languages, is taking the fight against prostate cancer very seriously, making the rounds of local and regional media in the past couple of weeks in a concerted effort to raise awareness and appeal to the population at large to do their part in beating the disease.

Last week his voice connected with the 150,000 residents of the Greater Montreal area who listen in on the Andrew Carter morning show on CJAD radio 800. In a typical interview characteristic of Carter’s genuine commitment to community causes and his unstinting support of legitimate appeals for help, Demers bared his soul in a moving 10 minutes of air time that reached across the airwaves and into the hearts of listeners.

In addition to, and concurrent with his illness, the mayor has also dealt with an enormous amount of political pressure the past six months. The Mouvement Lavallois party which the mayor has headed since 2012 in partnership with founder David De Cotis, in late spring of 2018 showed signs of falling apart, washing its dirty linen in a public display of disunity full of recriminations, accusations, innuendos, and denials on both sides of the rift which saw Demers and De Cotis on opposite sides.

To the audience in general,  to the councilors loyal to the mayor, and perhaps to the ‘rebels’ as well, the sight of Marc Demers back on the rails and raring to go must have been heart-warming, despite the differences, disagreements, and disappointments of the past few months.