Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante Is Defying The CAQ And Moving Ahead With The STM Pink Line
This could actually be bad news for her.
The arrival of the majority CAQ government to the National Assembly is not good news for the city of Montreal.
The city voted overwhelmingly in favour of the parti libéral du Québec (PLQ) and Québec solidaire (QS). Only two ridings on the island chose "caquists" to represent them in Québec City.
TL;DR Mayor Plante is dedicating one million dollars to a new committee that will begin planning the Pink line. The CAQ, however, opposes its construction.
One of those represenativies, Chantal Rouleau, is a political rival to current Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante. Rouleau will also serve as minister for the Montreal region.
That appointment made the opposition between the city and the CAQ not only political, but personal.
Across its platform, too, the CAQ made clear it would not make Montreal a priority.
The party has opted to invest in suburban roads and bridges over the city's overburdened public transit system.
Those plans seemed to thwart mayor Plante's promised STM Pink metro line, which woud run from Montreal North to Lachine.
But today, Plante chose to defy the CAQ.
On Twitter, the mayor announced that she has formed a planning office to, presumably, lay the legal, technical, and logistical groundwork for the massive project.
Le transport collectif bénéficie à l’ensemble des Montréalais.e.s, c’est pourquoi il est au cœur de mes priorités comme mairesse. Je suis fière de vous annoncer que le projet de la ligne rose avance, avec la création d'un bureau et d’un comité aviseur. #polmtl pic.twitter.com/J9OdFmCqhV— Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) October 22, 2018
It may be mostly a symbolic move.
But that symbolism also comes with a price tag. According to the Montreal Gazette, the mayor plans to dedicate one million dollars to this committee.
That may be one million dollars wasted. In fact, the STM is acocuntable to both municipal and provincial officials. Any major development plans will need provincial approval, not to mention both federal and provincial funding.
The CAQ will likely not respond well to this rogue move by mayor Plante. They may complicate the new committee's operations.
The CAQ would also benefit from a like-minded Montreal mayor. If the party can use this opportunity to cast the committee and Plante herself as wasteful, they may jeopardize her reelection ambitions.
This was a short-term political calculation by Plante. But it may have more negative that positive consequences for her in the long term.