Jane Cowell-Poitras

Jane Cowell-Poitras (born 1953) is a Canadian politician. She was an elected member of Montreal City Council from 2001 until 2013 and had served as councillor of Lachine from 1988 until its amalgamation with Montreal in 2001.[1] Her portfolio included social and community development, family policy, status of women, housing, urban Indigenous people and senior citizens. She worked closely on both the City of Montreal's Family Policy and Senior Citizens' Policy (MADA).

Jane Cowell-Poitras
Mayor of Montreal
In office
November 5, 2012 – November 16, 2012
Preceded byGérald Tremblay
Succeeded byMichael Applebaum
In office
June 18, 2013 – June 25, 2013
Preceded byMichael Applebaum
Succeeded byLaurent Blanchard
Montreal City Councilor for Lachine
In office
Preceded byposition created
Succeeded byJean-François Cloutier
Lachine City Councilor
In office
Succeeded byposition abolished
Personal details
Born1953 (age 67–68)
London, England
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Union Montreal (2001-2013)
ResidenceMontreal, Quebec

As deputy mayor, she served as acting mayor of the city from November 5 to November 16, 2012 following the resignation of Gérald Tremblay, and again from June 18 to June 25, 2013 following the resignation of Michael Applebaum.


Born in London, England, and Montreal resident since the age of two, Cowell-Poitras studied business at Concordia University. Prior to becoming a city councillor, Cowell-Poitras was president of NATA, a business that coordinated conferences and volunteering workshops in the community.

Acting mayorEdit

Following the resignation of Gérald Tremblay on November 5, 2012, Cowell-Poitras assumed the office of acting Mayor of Montreal,[2] by virtue of holding the office of deputy mayor, a position which rotates among different councillors throughout a council term, at the time of Tremblay's resignation.[3] She was the first woman in the city's history to assume the office of mayor, having been preceded only by the ceremonial appointment of Lise Payette as honorary mayor of the city for one day in 1976 to mark the International Women's Year.

She served until November 16, when council selected Michael Applebaum as the city's new interim mayor.[4] She again became acting mayor on June 18, 2013, when Applebaum resigned,[5] serving until the selection of Laurent Blanchard on June 25. She was a candidate for interim mayor in the council vote, but garnered just three votes to 30 for Blanchard and 28 for councillor Harout Chitilian.[6] Cowell-Poitras chose not to run in the 2013 elections, following 25 years of public service.

Post Political LifeEdit

Following her retirement from politics, Cowell-Poitras returned to school to complete a DEC in Library and Information Technologies at John Abbott College. Upon graduation in 2015, she was hired by the Merging Waters Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada where she worked until November 2019.

Her retirement from politics also allowed her the time to get involved in more volunteer opportunities. From 2014 – 2018 she assumed the presidency of The Teapot – Lachine's Seniors’ Centre. She joined the Montreal-Lakeshore University Women's Club in 2014, where she currently holds the position of Archivist. Cowell-Poitras is also the Regional Director for Quebec (English-speaking Clubs) for the Canadian Federation of University Women. In 2018, she was named Resolutions Convenor for the National Council of Women Canada and she volunteers every Friday morning at Villa Beaurepaire Senior's Residence in Beaconsfield.


  1. ^ "Ville de Montréal — Arrondissement Lachine — Your elected officials". Ville de Montréal. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  2. ^ Myles, Brian (2012-11-06). "Tremblay abdique". Le Devoir. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Mayoral vacancy will be short-lived". The Gazette, November 6, 2012.
  4. ^ "Michael Applebaum elected mayor of Montreal". CTV News, November 16, 2012.
  5. ^ Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum resigns amid charges. Toronto Sun, June 18, 2013.
  6. ^ "Laurent Blanchard new interim mayor of Montreal" Archived 2013-06-28 at the Wayback Machine. The Gazette, June 25, 2013.

External linksEdit