Coffee with… Mitch Garber | Twitter Vigilante
He publicly warned Pierre Poilievre, like Jean-François Lisée or Pierre Karl Péladeau. He’s a multimillionaire, mostly investing overseas, but he says he’s happy living in Montreal and paying a lot of taxes in Quebec.
Who is this funny bugger? It was Mitch Garber, this extraordinary Anglo-Quebecer, who multiplied the nasty comments on Twitter, where he has 43,600 subscribers. The businessman became very popular among French speakers after his appearance on the show In the eye of the dragonbetween 2015 and 2017.
I met Mitch Garber in his laid-back offices on Stanley Street near Sherbrooke in downtown Montreal. Mitch Garber greeted me in the large room adjacent to his office, topped by a coffee bar worthy of Montreal’s fine bistros.
The favorite topic: his bulimic use of Twitter, at a time when the social network has come under fire since its takeover by libertarian billionaire Elon Musk. He loves the medium, not least because it can’t be “misquoted,” he says.
Every day, Mitch Garber points out inconsistencies in tweets broadcast by personalities, particularly politicians. Or, he simply expresses his disagreement, often in a “drooling” tone.
On Guy Nantel, October 28:
“Guy Nantel, who has a very thin skin and blocks everything, must understand that no one questions his right to freedom of expression. We are free to point out that autism jokes and Massé/Hitler comparisons are classless, old and offensive. »
In response to Sophie Durocher, on October 27, defending Guy Nantel:
“Why is everyone excited? He didn’t say hello/hi! What constitutes a month of anger at log. He just makes fun of autism and compares Manon Massé to Hitler. Forget that. »
Regarding Pierre Poilievre, who claimed on October 23 that the Trudeau government wants to triple the carbon tax on the heating bill: “Can journalists ask him to show us how it would work, with actual heating bill Or will we let him talk nonsense? »
See the genre? Mitch Garber is provocative, far from the wooden language of politicians.
In our meeting, the 1eh November, he planned to moderate his speeches since his recent tenure of the Order of Canada, to be less sharp, but it was clear that he could not help it.
I challenge politicians not to be like Americans, not to say wrong things. American Republicans know very well that Biden’s election was “fair”, but they believe it was a fraud to attract votes.
On this topic, Mitch Garber judges that Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, of the Parti Québécois, and Éric Duhaime, of the Conservative Party, do not distort the facts, even if they are not part of his natural political family.
His offensive tweets don’t hurt his business, he says. However, business, he brews a lot.
The businessman is a major shareholder in a dozen companies, in addition to having interests in 23 others and interests in 25 investment funds, most of them outside of Canada.
He also sits on the board of directors of seven companies, in addition to being a member of the management committee of the Seattle Kraken, this new NHL team established in the American West, in which he is a shareholder.
He takes bets on companies that need a turnaround. “I’m excited to be in companies, I love it. This is my medicine,” said the lawyer by training.
Mitch Garber hit one of his financial home runs in 2016 when he sold mobile games firm Playtika. Then he made almost 300 million and did not hesitate to publicly say that he paid 100 million dollars in taxes on it and he was satisfied with it.
I understand businessmen of big companies not to speak. But it is not the same for me, who is not a CEO, has no stock market shareholders, does not need the help of governments or Quebecor.
Does he have any plans to leave Twitter, due to Elon Musk coming to its head?
“Another reason to stay on Twitter. There is room for opinions that dispel falsehoods and alternative, aggressive truths. […] I hope we can slow down the tide, which is already very far to the right in the United States,” Mitch Garber, who hates anonymous Twitter accounts, which he says undermines the network’s credibility, told me.
The polemicist said that he was against Law 21 on the secularism of the State and against Law 96 on the French, and he did not hesitate to denounce the aspects he considered disturbing on Twitter.
At the same time, he found the comments of Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau, who said last year that he could live well in Montreal without speaking French, shocking. “He put me to shame,” she said.
Born in Montreal to Montreal-born parents, Mitch Garber identifies himself internationally first as a Montrealer, then as a Canadian, although he says he’s proud to live in Quebec.
“I am Jewish, I have lived in Israel and I speak Hebrew,” he added to describe his multicultural character. She practices her religion sparingly, is married to a non-practicing French-speaking Catholic and her children celebrate the major Catholic and Jewish holidays (Christmas, Yom Kippur, etc.).
Judging by his positions, Mitch Garber is clearly a liberal and a federalist. He does not deny it, although he once voted for the Conservative Party under Brian Mulroney. “Tomorrow, I’m voting 1000% for Trudeau-Freeland-Champagne in Poilievre,” he said.
Does he not want to run for PLQ leader, released by Dominique Anglade? “No, I don’t like politics and my life is more free,” he answered.
Mitch Garber maintained that he was often contacted by the provincial and federal parties, that there were open doors for him in the PLQ during the previous elections, and even in the CAQ a few years ago, but he always refused.
Before the interview ended, he wanted to tell me about his charitable commitment. In recent years, he said he participated in raising $200 million for charitable organizations in Quebec — notably as former president of Centraide — in addition to $130 million for the Federation CJA, whose mission is to “maintain and strengthen quality of Jewish life and engagement in Montreal, in Israel and in the world”.
“The capitalist system is the least evil in the world, he said, and it is more social in Quebec and in Canada. I did not steal my money, but you have to give it back to be fair, because the tax is not enough. »
One may not agree with Mitch Garber’s opinions, but he cannot be blamed for being amorphous and adept at alternative facts. Exactly the kind that Elon Musk should appreciate.
Questionnaire without filter
Coffee and me: We have a very predictable and very reliable relationship.
A typical morning: Waking up early, reading all the newspapers and headlines, having a smoothie, coffee, walking the dog, going to the gym and going to the office.
People I want to bring to my table, dead or alive: Muhammad Ali, Terry Fox, Steve Jobs.
My favorite books: Start-Up Nationby Dan Senor and Saul Singer, all books by Malcolm Gladwell, Red Noticeby Bill Browder, Liar’s Poker and Moneyballby Michael Lewis.
Who is Mitch Garber?
– Born in 1964 in Montreal, Mitch Garber is a father of two children and lives in Montreal.
– He holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University (1986) as well as a law degree (1989) and an honorary doctorate (2017) from the University of Ottawa.
– He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2019, with investiture taking place in October 2022.
– He is a major shareholder in a dozen companies, in addition to having interests in 23 others and interests in 25 investment funds, most of them outside of Canada.
– He is a member of the management committee and minority shareholder of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken.
– He is the former chairman of the board of directors of Cirque du Soleil and until recently the chairman of the board of directors of Invest in Canada, the agency responsible for foreign investment in the country.