Library member Sarah Fremeth turned 100 and her family dedicated sensor panels to childhood corner
Tenants concerned about renovictions get advice at City Hall meeting

Should Housefather cross the floor now and join the Conservative Party of Canada?

Last week I had the pleasure to address the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club. There were about 30 people on hand at the Aquatic and Community Centre and another 80 or so watching online. With 770 members this is one well-oiled machine.

Anthony Housefather

I touched on many topics which I will elaborate on later in this piece. But let me fast forward to the question period and the discussion I had with members when I departed. Many of the individuals wanted my take on the Federal Liberal Party, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and our Mount Royal Liberal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather. These days they are all facing a common among Jewish residents of the riding in particular: not wanting to cast their vote in favor of Trudeau.

The next federal election is not expected to be held until the fall of 2025 as long as the NDP continues to blackmail the Liberals for their support. Billions of our dollars are being poured into NDP-supported programs like pharma care and dental care in order to ensure the Liberals do nor lose a vote of confidence. I am not saying that either of the NDP initiatives are bad for the population. However, with a bulging deficit can we really afford them at this time?

With Charles Eklove and Bernie Green after my address to the Men's Club.

So what do people in Mount Royal do if Trudeau sticks around as leader? Do they still support Housefather, who is probably the best MP we’ve ever had? He was mayor of Côte Saint-Luc for 10 years, my first decade on council, so I know him well. Anthony thinks of his constituents first. He was never Trudeau’s choice for the Mount Royal nomination. Yet he beat his competitor handily. Mount Royal traditionally became the home of a cabinet minister. Both the late Sheila Finestone and Irwin Cotler were accorded those honors; not Anthony.

When the Liberals adopted new language legislation Bill C-13 last spring by a 301-1 to vote, Housefather was the only dissenter. That drew praise from his constituents. Rightfully so, he insisted that the federal bill took a wrong turn by referring to Bill 101, Quebec’s Charter of the French Language, which was extensively overhauled via Bill 96, our controversial law that toughens French language rules.

Justin Trudeau

Soon after the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, followed by the war in Gaza, Housefather became an instant spokesperson for the Jewish State. While Trudeau has tried to walk a fine line between the Israeli and Palestinian positions, he has failed to satisfy either side. Housefather has found himself consistently speaking out against his own party. The straw that broke the camel’s back came when the NDP proposed a motion in the House of Commons calling on Canada to recognize the "State of Palestine." While a much watered-down position passed, only the Federal Conservative Party and three Liberals – Housefather, Marco Mendicino and Ben Carr- voted against it.

Housefather subsequently went public about how this left him feeling "isolated" and he is now "reflecting" on his place within caucus.

At the Men’s Club I was asked specifically why Housefather would not cross the floor and join the Conservatives. Leader Pierre Poilievre may have his faults, but like his predecessor Stephen Harper he supports Israel to the highest level. Over the last few months he has been visiting Montreal-area synagogues. His chief lieutenant Melissa Lantsman, accompanied by longtime Tory insider Neil Drabkin, was making the rounds last week. She is Jewish and the reception she received was warm. If Trudeau stays on, the Tories think they can take Mount Royal.

Now that Housefather has opened the door to reflecting on his future with the Liberals, and hanging his hat on the Israel issue, I believe his constituents would applaud a move to the Tories, Poilievre is going to win the next federal election. If Housefather makes the move now, he would all but be assured of being named to the cabinet – a dream come true.

I am sure this is a terribly difficult decision for Housefather to make. He has been a lifelong Liberal. But is this the same party that he first joined? Now is the time for his constituents to speak up. If enough of them tell him to cross the floor, maybe he will. I for one would strongly recommend it.

Let me conclude with some comments about my Men’s Club appearance. Thanks to President Charles Eklove and director Bernie Green for inviting me. My topic was A Man With Many Hats: City Councillor, Journalist and Education Sector Communications Official.

I touched upon my role with the English Montreal School Board and our battles with the Quebec government over Bills 21, 40 and 96; the constant attacks on the English community by the CAQ government; the lackluster performance of the provincial Liberals and our need to give the Canadian Party of Quebec some support for speaking up for us; The Suburban Newspaper and the important role it continues to play in the community; COVID-19 and the fact that if you feel sick these days up to date rapid tests are impossible to find and nobody seems to care about spreading germs to others any more; the local restaurant scene; and an update from Côte Saint-Luc city council.

Thanks again to the Men’s Club for having me. This is one influential voting bloc and there is no question, I’d say, that most of them would like to see Housefather free from the Trudeau regime. We shall see.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Michael Tenenbaum

Anthony is too principled to stay with a party which has lost its’ moral compass.


Small correction, the federal election is set to take place around October 2025. 2026 is provincial.

Mike Cohen


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)