Borough Mayor of CDN / NDG
Vanier graduate Russell Copeman is currently a Montreal City Councillor and the borough mayor for Côte-des-Neiges / Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. He also sits on the Montreal Executive Committee, and is responsible for housing, urban planning.
Prior to that he was Associate Vice-President at Concordia University from 2008-2013, and before that he was a long-serving Liberal Member of the National Assembly of Quebec (MNA) representing the riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce from 1994 to 2008.
Provincial Politics – 1986-2008
From 1986 to 1988, Russell was the Assistant Director of the Education Program, Director of Social Affairs and Director of the Education Program for Alliance Quebec. In 1989, he was the political aide to the Minister of Energy and Resources. From 1989 to 1991, he was the Quebec Liberal Party coordinator and from 1991 to 1994 he was the constituency assistant to former Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa. In the 1994 election, he was elected to the National Assembly in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. He was re-elected in the 1998, 2003 and 2007 elections. He was chair of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs from June 2003 to February 2007. He was the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Social Services. Active in National Assembly relations with the United States he was the 2007 Chairman of the Council of State Government’s Eastern Regional Conference. Copeman resigned on October 22, 2008 after accepting a job as Associate Vice-President at Concordia University.
Russell Copeman’s Top Ten Achievements as Liberal MNA for NDG from 1994 – 2008:
- He was the Liberal Party point person and spokesman on poverty, services to the handicapped, and family policy. (1994-2003)
- He authored an amendment to the Quebec Elections Act improving accessibility at polling stations for voters with reduced mobility. (1995)
- He demonstrated a leadership role in community efforts to save the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and then to convert it to Queen Elizabeth Health Complex. (1995-1998)
- He was an early supporter and champion of the Benny Farm redevelopment; insisted on mixed use housing.
- He supported and promoted the construction of new $22 million CLSC (now CSSS).
- He was “instrumental in securing” $2.1 million from the Government of Quebec for a new gymnasium at Royal West Academy, said the EMSB. (2006)
- He lobbied Shriners to stay in Montreal and build their new hospital on the Glen Site. (2007-2008)
- He convinced the Government of Quebec that Benny Sports and Recreation Complex merited a $5 million contribution. (2008)
- He achieved funding for hundreds of new daycare spaces in NDG.
- As Parliamentary Assistant to Philippe Couillard, Minister of Health and Social Services, he was responsible for an action plan on pervasive developmental disorders in 2007. Then in 2008, he brokered a solution so that Inuit midwives could legally practice in Nunavik.
Associate Vice-President Of Concordia University – 2008-2013
In October 2008, Russell Copeman announced his departure from provincial politics to accept a position with Concordia University, where he served as Associate Vice-President.
Return To Politics
Copeman ran as a candidate for Coalition MontrÃ©al as part of the November 3, 2013 municipal election and was elected to Montreal City Council as borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges / Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. On November 18, 2013, he was appointed to the Montreal Executive Committee by Mayor Denis Coderre, on which he is responsible for housing, urban planning, buildings, real estate transactions and strategies, and the Office of Public Consultation. See the full story from the CBC website.
Russell Copeman was featured in an extensive interview with the Montreal Gazette on January 23, 2014, spotlighting a “historic” meeting that he is arranging to which he has invited all 21 of the elected officials whose ridings fall in at least part of the borough – four members of Parliament, including Marc Garneau and Thomas Mulcair; four Members of Quebec’s National Assembly, including Kathleen Weil and Philippe Couillard; six city councillors and seven school board commissioners. Read the full article.