Although it is not yet official, for the first time in history, a black woman will be the president of the municipal council of Montreal.
Mayor ValÃ©rie Plante appointed Villeray city councilor Martine Musau Muele for the role on Thursday.
While the board has yet to vote to approve the nomination on Monday, the official opposition has said it will vote in his favor.
Muele entered Montreal politics for the first time in the municipal elections this fall where she ran for municipal councilor in the Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough and won with nearly 69% of the vote.
A lawyer, Muele was notably clerk of the towns of Kirkland, in the west of the island of Montreal, and of Amqui, in the GaspÃ©.
She also worked as a legal attachÃ© with the Red Cross in Geneva and served for almost eight years in the Canadian Armed Forces.
“The Forces taught me several strengths … including leadership, knowing how to serve, above all, and understanding that, in a team, you are never stronger than the weakest link,” she said.
Muele has also acted as an actress in theater, film and television. She said these different roles had prepared her well for her new post on city council.
“The fact that we [can] having rather heated debates, depending on the subject, does not scare me, “she said.
Muele highlighted his experience in town halls and his past as commissioner at the Office de consultation publique de MontrÃ©al, the OCPM.
âThere is a sensitivity that comes with this experience, and most importantly, an understanding of different points of view,â she said.
Muele will succeed Suzie Miron, who was defeated in the last municipal elections in TÃ©treaultville, although a recount has been authorized to confirm the results.
The role of the president of the municipal council is similar to that of the president of the Parliament and of the National Assembly: to ensure that the rules of the municipal council are respected by the councilors, in particular during the debates.
Muele is the second black woman appointed to a high-level position on Montreal’s new city council.
Dominique Ollivier has been chosen to be the new chairman of the executive committee. This is the first time that a black man has held this position, considered the second most powerful elected office in the city.