Mayor Valérie Plante and her party, Projet Montréal, committed Tuesday to "stimulate the construction" of 2,000 new affordable student housing units in Montreal "as early as 2022" — after the November 2021 municipal election.
"Montreal is one of the top 10 university cities in the world. If it wants to stay that way, we have to protect the affordability of housing," Plante said in a statement.
"The attractiveness of the city, our ability to attract talent and therefore our economic development depend on it."
The administration plans to use what's called its "first right of refusal" — essentially first dibs on a property — to "acquire land dedicated to affordable housing in areas near major post-secondary institutions."
It also plans to support non-profit initiatives and push for student housing in large projects like the conversion of the old Royal Victoria hospital.
Projet Montréal plans to acquire land for the student housing between 2022 and 2025.
You might have noticed that the height of buildings in Montreal is shorter than those in other North American cities. That's by design. And now, Mayor Valérie Plante's party, Projet Montréal, is committing to keep it that way.
"Since 1992, a consensus has existed in Montreal regarding the maximum height of buildings," the party wrote on Facebook. "According to this agreement, Montreal's constructions must not obscure the views of Mount Royal — and therefore must not peak higher than the mountain's highest level, which is more than 232 metres above sea level."
The party criticized former mayor Denis Coderre's claim that taller buildings could help to increase the housing offer in the city.
"Mr. Coderre seems to believe that Montreal's highest peaks should belong to the owners of downtown penthouses [...] Let's be honest. Who will really benefit from taller skyscrapers? A handful of wealthy people and a few real estate developers... And so would begin the privatization of the views of our Mount Royal," Projet Montréal warned.
Quebec students would've also favoured the Liberals and helped them win a minority government — though a much slimmer one — if they were able to vote, according to Student Vote Canada.
If students were able to cast ballots in the federal election, the Liberals would have won 116 seats nationally, forming a minority government. The official opposition would be the New Democratic Party (NDP), with 106 seats.
🚨The federal election is underway!
CIVIX is working with @ElectionsCan_E to offer #StudentVoteCanada to schools ac… https://t.co/CWQBNTnSu1
While the Liberals would have won the election, they would've lost the popular vote to the NDP.
In Quebec, the Liberals would've won 38 seats, with the Bloc Québécois in second place at 20. The NDP was much worse off in Quebec, winning only 9 seats.
The Student Vote is an educational program that runs at the same time as the official election with the goal of teaching young people how to participate in the electoral process. The students get to cast a ballot exactly like the real thing and the votes are then counted.
More than 700,000 students from across Canada participated in this election's Student Vote.
"I look forward to continuing to work with the government to advance Montreal's priorities such as a green & inclusive recovery, the fight against arms trafficking and the fight against climate change."
Plante pushed for stronger federal gun control laws in the weeks leading up to the election, joining the mayors of Quebec's four other largest cities to call on all parties to take action on the issue.
She warned that, in her view, Canada could become an "American-style society" with normalized gun violence if the federal government didn't pass tougher legislation.
Plante listed a green economic relaunch and the fight against climate change as two other priorities for the city.
Quebec Premier François Legault also congratulated Trudeau on Tuesday, saying he would collaborate with the prime minister on "Quebec's interests."