J’can PM’s distant cousin enters Montreal mayoral race

Balarama Holness, who is reported to be a distant cousin of Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, yesterday announced his candidacy in Montreal’s mayoral race set for November this year.

“A fresh vision to energize Montreal: I’m officially running for mayor of our city!” the 37-year-old posted on Twitter.

The political activist and community organiser, who once played professional football in Canada, made the announcement of his candidacy outside City Hall, saying that his new political party, Movement Montreal, wanted to bring new blood and new ideas to the table.

“What we really want to do is address the issues of environment, address the issues of culture, address the issues of transportation,” said Holness, who has become a leading voice against systemic racism in his country and whose father is Jamaican.

In his Twitter post, Holness said Movement Montreal is “a political party that prioritizes your needs, supports your aspirations, and empowers your voice”.

“We are going to surprise people,” he said outside City Hall. “We are going to have the best ground game out of any political party.”

He will be running against Montreal Mayor Valrie Plante and Denis Coderre, who served as mayor from 2013 to 2017.

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