The City of Montreal outlined the city's pre-budgetary demands to the Government of Quebec this morning. Mayor Valérie Plante highlighted three overall priorities for Montreal that she hopes will be featured on the CAQ's provincial budget, which will be presented on March 10. "The needs are enormous, and to meet them, the City of Montreal will have to be able to count on the financial support of the Quebec government," said Mayor Plante.

She says the city is focused on three main priorities moving forward: housing, mobility, and the environment.

Montreal's monetary demands to the Government of Quebec are large, acknowledged the Mayor, but she hopes that the government will collaborate with the city to stimulate social and economic growth. 

"If growing the economy is their [the CAQ's] mission, then that goes by the growth of Montreal’s greater metropolitan area," argued the Mayor. 

"What I’m counting on is for the Premier to acknowledge that Montreal is the economic locomotive of the province. We can’t see public transit only as an expense — it’s not true. It stimulates economic growth and creates wealth. That’s how it works and that’s how many major cities have developed." 

Here what the city hopes the Quebec government will feature on the 2020 Budget.

Housing

Along with the significant amounts that Montreal is investing in improving the stock and quality of housing in the city, there are certain financial limitations that they need to overcome with the help of the CAQ. 

Mayor Plante explained two main wishes: 

  1. Increase the Accès Logis Montréal envelope by $320 million to cover the period 2020-2021 and 2021-2022

  2. $55 million in 2020-2021 and $45 million in 2021-2022 to enable the construction of the 1,800 units promised by the CAQ since 2017.

First, the $320-million would assist in achieving Montreal's goal of 12,000 social and affordable housing units by 2021.

Though the initiative is almost halfway done, an injection of funding by the Quebec government would go a long way to advance the proposal. 

Second, Mayor Plante clarified that the city has been waiting for funding to construct 1,800 units since 2017. "We’re still waiting for that money, which is absolutely necessary," she asserted.


READ ALSO: 45 Questions With Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante (Video)

Mobility 

Mayor Plante further elaborated on the potential of an orange line extension to the future REM station in Bois-Franc. Without going into financial details, the Mayor asserted that the western portion of the orange line is in serious need of relief. 

"It’s clear that that area of Montreal needs help. The 15 and the 40 are overly congested and the orange line can be used better. If we link it to the REM, it’ll give us a consolidated [public transit] network," said Mayor Plante. 

"Many big developments along the Orange Line have the potential to create up to 30,000 [housing] units in the next few years. So you can only imagine how much strain that will put on the network," she continued.

According to the Mayor, traffic congestion in the Greater Montreal Area costs $4-billion per year.

To alleviate the pressure on the city's road network, Mayor Plante hopes that the CAQ plans for an equivalent investment into transportation and public networks. 

Among investments in public transit and the road network,  Montreal hopes that the CAQ is invested in the development of an extension of the Pie-IX BRT, and a motion toward finally building a tramline from Lachine to the East End.

"There’s going to be a big price tag attached [to these projects] and we’ll see how the government is going to react," said Mayor Plante.

"We can just hope they are as ambitious as we are in Montreal and see the value in this."

The Environment 

Mayor Plante said that this year is a crucial moment for both the municipal and federal governments to commit to fighting climate change.

"This year, the City of Montreal will present a climate plan, which will include several ambitious initiatives. We must remember that Quebec’s environmental success relies on Montreal," she said. 

The City hopes to work hand-in-hand with the CAQ to achieve its ambitious climate goal of a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Along with that, Mayor Plante hopes for a $100-million contribution from the Quebec government for the construction of a park and bike path in the Turcot sector, that will connect NDG and the Sud-Ouest like never before.

Alongside Montreal's three major priorities, Mayor Plante established that there will be further monetary demands in the cultural and law enforcement sectors. 

Even though Montreal has an ambitious and far-reaching wishlist, Mayor Plante hopes that the government will acknowledge that Quebec's economic prosperity is directly related to Montreal's.

The Quebec government will present its 2020 Budget on March 10. 

NOW WATCH 45 Questions With Valérie Plante

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