Valérie Plante's Major Promises For Montreal Now That She Won Re-Election

The results are in and Montreal has decided who the mayor will be for the next four years. Like it or not, Valérie Plante is here to stay and like her first run as mayor, she has big plans for the future of our metropolis.

Here's some of the major things Plante promised to do if she were re-elected.

Downtown Montreal

In the first days of her campaign, Mayor Plante promised an "ambitious" project for downtown Montreal that would promote its economic recovery and make it "attractive to workers, businesses, tourists, and Montrealers from all over the island."

The mayor presented a plan to:

  • "support the Palais des Congrès expansion project, and consequently the covering of a part of the Ville-Marie highway;
  • "offer free parking downtown on evenings and weekends in December to support our merchants during the holiday season;
  • "[accelerate] construction sites and [limit] potential nuisances;
  • "support the redevelopment of large offices into adequate spaces to accommodate [small and medium enterprises] and start-ups;"
  • make "a $1 billion investment by 2030 to develop beautiful, large public plazas in downtown, redevelop key commercial arteries and create vibrant living environments;"
  • "green" downtown by planting 500,000 trees in four years;
  • and "facilitate the transformation of vacant office space into housing."
Downtown will also be getting a new all-seasons public square called the Esplanade Tranquille. In the winter, the square will transform into a giant skating rink.

Affordable Housing & Rent

In her official party platform, Plante promised to promote the creation of 60,000 social affordable housing units and move to install a "fair taxation" policy to prevent real-estate speculation and flipping. In August, Plante unveiled plans to "stimulate" the creation of 2,000 affordable student units in Montreal.

Perhaps one of the biggest promises she made was to create a "responsible landlord" certification and a rent registry program in Montreal. The city would apply the certification to landlords of buildings with eight units or more.

Plante said it would allow Montreal to "monitor the state of the housing offered in the rental market [...] but also the price of rent."

The mayor plans to implement the registry by the "end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023."

Construction Projects

It seems Montreal is a never-ending construction zone and sorry to tell you that probably won't change any time soon.

But it's all for the improvement of the city, according to the administration. First and foremost, Plante promised that no new buildings would be higher than Mount Royal on her watch.

In May, Plante announced that Montreal would invest $1.8 billion over the next 10 years to implement a "green recovery plan," including the creation of a 110-kilometre "green corridor" network between the city's largest parks.

The plan also calls for 500,000 more trees in the city by 2030, a new "nature centre" in the East End and enhancements to Mount Royal.

Finally, one of the biggest projects proposed by Plante is the partial coverage of the Décarie Expressway between rues Jean-Talon and des Jockeys. This mayor aims to "decongest" a stretch of the Décarie that's an absolute traffic nightmare "in order to have a huge place for pedestrians and cyclists" that need to use Namur metro station, according to the mayor.

Climate Change

In August, Plante unveiled an investment strategy for electrifying Montreal. With an $885 million dollar investment, the plan will "prioritize measures that promote the increase and diversification of the supply of sustainable, integrated, affordable and accessible transport."

This includes the creation of more than 1,000 new electric vehicle charging stations, the further electrification of the STM's bus fleet, and 2,100 more electric BIXI bikes.

The city will also move to ban many single-use plastics by 2022 and will ban over 100 harmful pesticides.

Additionally, Projet Montréal's 2021 platform calls for the creation of a "zero carbon emition zone in the city centre" by 2030.

Bill 96 & The Language Debate

As a supporter of Bill 96, Plante maintains that Montreal will remain a "francophone metropolis" with the promotion of the French language at the core of its values.

With a 24-point action plan in hand and a new French-language watchdog in former PQ minister Louise Harel, the city will make "a coherent commitment to promoting the French language, while preserving the cultural and linguistic rights of the English-speaking community and Indigenous nations," according to the mayor.

Plante has asked the government to keep the 311 service bilingual, however.