Bruno Marchand: chess player with colored sneakers

Quebec residents discovered Bruno Marchand six months ago. On November 7, 2021, during an election night with an unexpected scenario, this race enthusiast meets his main rival at the finish line to get to the mayor of Quebec. Newspaper Talk to several friends and opponents of the new mayor, who turns 50 today, to find out who is behind this amazing athlete and chess champion who wears colorful sneakers.

chess champion

“Bruno is always three steps ahead,” laughs Isabelle Genest. Mrs. Genest, who rubbed Bruno Marchand’s shoulders for several years and succeeded him at the helm of Centraide, is full of praise for the person she calls “a mentor.”

Bruno Marchand at age 1 or 2

photo courtesy

Bruno Marchand at age 1 or 2

His analogy borrowed from the world of chess – the game in which the new mayor excels – was often brought up in discussions with those close to Bruno Marchand. Everyone praised his strategic side, intelligence and predictability. These qualities turned into politics, which makes it possible to prevent the blows of opponents and learn how to attack in time.

“He is a brilliant, strategic guy who can see two or three targets in front of him. It has been a strong point for the manager, but it will certainly also be for the politician who has to juggle complex situations,” explains Benjamin Bossier, Vice President of Operations at Centraide. The latter says he formed a “professional couple” with Bruno Marchand over the past nine years, at the Quebec Association for Suicide Prevention (AQPS) and then at Centraide.

The main interested party, who in his youth participated in chess tournaments across Quebec, says: “I don’t know if I have the three-step lead, but I’m working on it. People expect the leader to be able to read the environment and see the incoming strikes.”

to take care of

Because of his social work training and professional experience, Bruno Marchand focuses on ‘care’, a concept that is very present in the Anglo-Saxon field and can be translated as ‘care’ or ‘care’.

Victor Tibodou, who taught philosophy to student Marchand twenty years ago, has vivid memories of this young man with whom he always kept in touch. In 2014, the man who was also Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy submitted Bruno Marchand’s nomination for the prestigious “Great Alumni” award from Université Laval.

The professor wrote to justify his request by referring to Mr. Marchand’s work at AQPS: “His work has helped save hundreds of lives, while at the same time saving many families and friends from a tragedy from which no one has ever recovered.” .

Even today, Mr. Thibaudeau remains very flattering about Bruno Marchand, “the kind, positive, dynamic, and caring gentleman.” “In the Student Union, he was not a member of games He remembers.

Bruno Marchand at 5 or 6 years old

photo courtesy

Bruno Marchand at 5 or 6 years old

Disadvantages of opponents

If the mayor’s friends paint a beautiful portrait of him, then his opponents at City Hall are clearly more accurate. Claude Villeneuve asserts that Bruno Marchand “played a very dangerous game with the tram” by assuring, in his campaign, that the project would not be undertaken at any cost. The Quebec First leader also lamented the mayor’s “lack of vision” and described his program as “light and marginal”. According to him, “the real Bruno is less kind than he’s trying to show us,” he said, getting along.

For Jackie Smith, president of Transition Quebec, “Half of those who voted in November for Bruno Marchand thought he was in favor of the tramway. The other 50% thought he was against it. Obscurity is clearly a strategy to confuse the population.” She described the mayor as a “nice talker,” she thinks, “as he says [des] Things that are blurry enough [pour] That everyone finds there what he is looking for.” The Limoilo advisor also sees the desire for cooperation shown by the mayor “is a kind of way to stifle the opposition.”

“Cooperation” in all kinds of sauces

In the weeks since he took office, Bruno Marchand has repeated the word “collaboration” so much that journalists have enjoyed counting the number of times the term has been used in press meetings. This apparent desire does not surprise his former employees, who describe him as a “team guy” and “coach” who is able to step aside to make room for his assistants.

“Bruno is someone with a lot of energy. He was able to get a 360-degree view of the organization and get involved in different areas, developing a good knowledge of the organization. At the same time, he trusted his teams and knew how to accompany us,” describes Nancy Sharland, Vice President of Social Development in Centraide.

His close friend Frédéric Desrosiers, who has been with him since their college days and who still exercises with him regularly, describes him as “modest”, “meticulous” and “thoughtful”.

He wants the solution to come from broad consultations, not from a single leader. He wants to reach a broad consensus. There is nothing narcissistic in that. He was always worried about being ahead,” he says.


Before he became mayor of the city, Bruno Marchand suspected his job would be too difficult. But the reality was more harsh. “There are things that you can plan for, but there are a lot of things that you cannot plan, because they come on the agenda unexpectedly. In the city how much things [à gérer] It is a phenomenon, he describes it. In six months, there was about one crisis a month.”

However, on the eve of his fiftieth birthday, the mayor doesn’t want to come across complaining. He maintains that he continues to spend time playing sports (running and cycling, in particular) and does everything in his power to have as normal a family life as possible. “I’m very lucky, unlike a lot of people,” he said. We weren’t rich, but my family used to give me three meals a day. I love my parents. I have precious and loyal friends. I have healthy children and I am healthy.”

Famous colored espadrilles

The mayor’s colorful shoes make a lot of noise. A parody account was created on Twitter to honor them, in the wake of the municipal elections.

Is it a well-rehearsed marketing process? Former Centraide employees laugh heartily at this question and easily remember that their former CEO often arrived at the office with the same kind of very flashy sneakers on his feet. They also swear that the mayor also owned “regular” office shoes.

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