Photo: Ryan Remiorz, The canadian Press
The spouse of Valérie Plante, Pierre-Antoine Harvey, says that the aftermath of the election have been “traumatic”.
To conclude this mini-series that sheds light on workers in the shadow of some success from the year 2017, The Duty she met a man whose life was changed during the electoral evening of 5 November. Pierre-Antoine Harvey has still not quite recovered from the clear victory of his spouse, Valérie Plant.
On the evening of 5 November, when Montrealers have chosen Valerie Plant for the successor to Denis Coderre, Pierre-Antoine Harvey has quickly understood that the newspaper of his little family would never be the same. Around midnight, they left the Corona, where the candidates of projet Montréal had gathered, ready to go home, not in the rental car to the election campaign, but in the police car.
“I got a shock. The next day was traumatic, ” admits Pierre-Antoine Harvey in an interview to the Duty.
In the aftermath of his victory, Valérie Plante got up at 6: 30 a.m. to go to thank the voters at the exit of the Square Victoria metro station, and then, as she went to walk to the town hall. The journalists were numerous, television crews as well. It was the frenzy.
In the early afternoon, Valérie Plante has been entitled to two hours of respite. Returned to the house, she took the opportunity to take a nap. To 15 pm, the phone rang. “You’re where ? “, has asked the head of the agenda in the office of the town hall. It is that the security service of the City was looking for the new mayor.
“We were accustomed to organize pin to hay,” admits Harvey, who had been the designated driver of the candidate to the town hall during the election campaign.
The jump into politics
Economist from the left to the Council of trade unions of Quebec (CSQ) and the Institute of research and socioeconomic information (IRIS), Pierre-Antoine Harvey has met with Valérie Plant in the 1990s while both were doing a certificate in intervention multi-ethnic to the University of Montreal. They now have two children, Emile, 14 years old, and Gael, 11 years.
Aged 44 years — Valerie Plant in a 43 — Pierre-Antoine Harvey has had to take care of the household. But he was doing well before the victory of last November. “It’s been a year and three months that my girlfriend was in an electoral campaign. It started when she decided to run for the leadership of projet Montréal in August 2016, ” he recalls.
Before being approached by projet Montréal to be a candidate as a councillor in 2013, Valerie Plant had never expressed any political ambitions, ” he said. Once confirmed candidate in Sainte-Marie, she learned that she would have to face Louise Harel in this district. “I remember having picked it up in a small ball on the couch because she had the feeling that it was over,” says Pierre-Antoine Harvey. “But she cashed out and rolled up his sleeves. “
It was the first of the successive wins of Valérie Plant. First against Louise Harel, and then against Guillaume Lavoie and the leadership of projet Montréal in December 2016, and finally against Denis Coderre last November.
The weeks that followed the election of Valérie Plant have disturbed the structure of the family. “It was so intense at the beginning that she did not have the time to call me. I farted a lead at this time, ” acknowledges Pierre-Antoine Harvey.
Valérie Plante, the mother of the family, is less present at home. The organization of his time is planned now at the town hall. The advantage of municipal politics, is that politicians are usually in Montreal, grants Pierre-Antoine Harvey.
“His secretary, Isabelle tries to protect her mornings to be with the children and that she would leave at 8 pm, at the same time as them. It ensures a degree of consistency in relation to the children. What we would like is that at least two evenings of the week, she comes to dinner at the house. “
It is so to the daddy that is responsible for the administration of lunches, homework, dinners, courses and appointments of the children. Valerie Plant must also accept that the house is a little less in order.
Himself caught by his professional commitments, he is come not to be able to accompany his youngest son to an appointment. “I called Isabelle [secretary of Valérie Plante] and I asked him to put it on the agenda of Valerie that she had to get Gaël to his appointment to 17 h. It has put it in his schedule and was packed the other things. “
But according to him, the reconciliation of work and family will ensure that Valérie Plant may be less visible than its predecessor.
“There is a real change of culture to introduce to the town hall. The mayor does not want to make available as much as the former mayor and she also likes to take the time when she will visit groups. It is an organized effort, but it is also an effort to say no to people. I think that people will understand and that they are open to it. “
The couple and the policy
According to him, the policy needs to change. “I’m a modern man and a feminist, it is sure that this is a dynamic in the couple in which one is not accustomed to. In our socialization, the policy has remained a sport of guys. “
Pierre-Antoine Harvey does not want to meddle in family life and policy. “There is a division between the public personality and my blonde hair. I stopped reading all the newspaper articles, listen to all that is said on it, on the decisions it takes. There is a detachment between the two personalities. “
If he was in the habit of giving advice to members of the executive of the CSQ where he works, he is careful to give them to his spouse : “I’m more of an ear than an advisor. I have found that there are a lot of people who have an opinion and want to tell him what to do. I think that the role of listening is most appreciated, ” he says.
“What is fascinating is the number of managers of platform. […] I even received messages to suggest me to tell my girlfriend that she should do this or that. “
The test of the policy
The first few weeks, however, have been challenging. The entourage of the mayor has assured Pierre-Antoine Harvey a schedule more regular would be introduced after the Holidays.
The political universe cares about a little : “It is difficult for anyone to see the person that we love to hear criticism publicly. The public and the media may sometimes find this a little quickly. On the day there will be a crisis or it could be caricaturée so nasty, this is what I’m worried about “.