Frantz Benjamin, to Sit as President of Montréal Council

Frantz Benjamin, member of the Montréal City Council (MCC), was designated as President of MCC by Mayor Denis Coderre. It is an auspicious appointment, being Benjamin is the first Haitian-American to hold the post. His appointment has sent a message to Montréal that minority politicians are a force to be reckoned with in the future.


Benjamin once belonged to the Union Montréal party but quit in 2012. He was a staunch supporter of then-mayor Gérald Tremblay, who was facing corruption charges at the Charbonneau Commission Hearings. Benjamin continued as a rogue councilor until 2013 when Denis Coderre won the Montréal mayor's office and Benjamin affiliated with Coderre's party.

Benjamin, in addition to his duties as President of MCC, is a member of two commissions, one on culture, heritage, and sports, and another on social development and diversity. He also fulfills duties as a Pointe de l'Île School Board Executive Committee member. At one time, he also sat as President of the Intercultural Council of Montréal.

The appointment of Benjamin signifies a new trend in local politics, in which minorities are gaining stature as they rise to higher political offices than in the past. This is due in part to the expanding Diaspora in communities like Montréal, Long Island, and North Miami, which all have large Haitian communities. Initiatives such as the Corridor Counts in Nassau County are building political organizations to run and seat more minority candidates at the local level.

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