Magda Popeanu arrived in Quebec in 1992 and is an electronic engineer by training. As a first generation immigrant of Romanian origin, her priority was to understand her new environment, and integrate rapidly. Magda began to teach engineering and education management. A Projet Montréal activist since 2005, Magda was president of the party from 2006 to 2010. She became a candidate when she noticed the lack of social solidarity in her borough. She campaigned in 2009, before winning two victories, in 2013 and 2017, as city councillor for the Côte-des-Neiges district.
Magda's district is home to many Montreal institutions, such as Saint Joseph's Oratory, the University of Montreal and Sainte-Justine UHC. Its population is a relatively balanced mix of retirees, students and newcomers. The soul of the neighbourhood remains its commercial artery, chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges. The establishment of its Commercial Development Corporation remains a major achievement of Magda's first mandate. In fact, she still sits on the SDC's Board of Directors.
Since her very first election, Magda has sought to bring the spirit of a village back to Côte-des-Neiges by creating meeting spaces to socialize or simply to discover the neighborhood from a new perspective. This is the reason behind the project to transform a section of Jean-Brillant Street to a green, pedestrian zone and create a safe traffic corridor for a peaceful travel experience for the surrounding population.
When she was in opposition, Magda was uspet by the indifference of elected officials to poverty and unsanitary conditions. Recent immigrants often face a language barrier and some landlords take advantage. Always seeking solutions, Magda cannot remain passive when faced with the lack of affordable housing. The protection of the rental market, the fight against illegal Airbnbs, and “renovictions”, remain her daily priorities.
To make her projects succeed, Magda firmly believes that the entire team must be aligned with a strategic vision, clear goals and a realistic timeline. The engineer in her is never far, and Magda still loves working with Excel files! She likes to be in the office, avoids the spotlight, but loves to do public education on occasion to explain the democratic functioning of the City and promote citizen involvement.
On the executive committee, Magda shares the vice-presidency with Sylvain Ouellet and is responsible for culture. She wants to make the arts more accessible and inclusive, and for Montrealers to see culture as both an economic lever and a factor in the fight against climate change. At a time when we must collectively seek humane and sustainable solutions to the problems of the planet and the city, Magda believes more than ever in Projet Montréal.
Under the unifying and inclusive leadership of Gracia Kasoki Katahwa, the vision of the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough will be refocused on the well-being of families, the revitalization and greening of our streets, and the revitalization of commercial arteries to offer the population an inclusive, safe and pleasant neighbourhood. Access to housing, sustainable modes of transportation and transparency are at the heart of our priorities. By drawing on the seasoned experience of Magda Popeanu and Peter McQueen, and the fresh perspective of our dynamic team: Despina Sourias, Victor Armony and Jérémie Alarco, we are offering the borough’s residents a renewed vision of a neighbourhood on a human scale.See more