Sonia Baudelot unsure whether she’ll run for mayor under her own banner

Says she split from Action Laval after a merger with her party broke down

While insisting that she is still surrounded by volunteers and candidates after leaving Action Laval, former AL mayoralty hopeful Sonia Baudelot told the Laval News earlier this week that she hasn’t made up her mind yet whether she’ll be running for mayor under the banner of her own party.

The underlying cause

Baudelot, who had been tagged by Action Laval last November to run as their mayoral candidate, issued a statement last week questioning the veracity of the Laval city council opposition party’s assertion that she had dropped out after citing a lack of available time because of family obligations.

Baudelot, who has also been a candidate in Laval for the federal Conservatives and who ran her own Avenir Laval municipal party in the 2017 election, suggested instead that a failure to achieve harmony between her faction and long-standing members of Action Laval was the underlying cause.

Unsure whether running

“I don’t know if I’m running again – I really don’t know,” Baudelot said last Monday in a phone interview with TLN. “The decision is not taken at a hundred percent,” she said. “I have doors that are open with people and I’ve been talking with people. But I just don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Although Baudelot has so far not succeeded in winning an elected office, there is good reason to consider her politically “bankable.” In the 2017 election, when she ran for mayor, she managed to garner 17,155 votes for 15.6 per cent support overall.

A respectable following

In addition, over the years she has managed to develop a respectable network of backroom support from well-established Laval-area politicians such as Chomedey MNA Guy Ouellette, who endorsed Baudelot publicly during one of her past campaigns.

Baudelot said this week that she sensed the volunteers she brought to Action Laval were losing their spirit as they moved more closely into the ranks of Action Laval.

She claimed to have brought at least 40 volunteers to Action Laval, and “they all left with me, candidates have left.” Baudelot didn’t specify exactly how many candidates she took away, but said that she had contributed as many candidates to Action Laval as had the party.

How to run a campaign

In a separate interview, Action Laval president Archie Cifelli insisted the reason why Baudelot and the party parted ways was because of a fundamental disagreement over how an election campaign should be run.

Baudelot claims she brought at least 40 volunteers to Action Laval and “they all left with me, candidates have left”

“The only way to win a municipal election is to be on the ground, talking to people and going door-to-door,” he said, while claiming that Baudelot considered that to be old-fashioned and that modern electioneering should rely much more on the use of social media to stir up support and get the word around.

Told of Cifelli’s reaction, Baudelot took exception to his remarks.

“Politics in 2021 is a team effort,” she said. “It’s teams that work together. Not two sides apart. When I joined, it was a fusion of two parties basically: my team and theirs. That’s what it was supposed to be. But it wasn’t that.”