In case you haven't heard, Valérie Plante is the new mayor of Montreal.
The first female mayor in the city's history, Plante was elected by Montrealers more for her campaign promises than anything to do with her sex. And Plante has pledged to change Montreal in quite a few ways.
For better or worse (but hopefully better) here are ten ways Montreal will change with Valérie Plante in charge. That is, if Plante sticks to the promises she has already made. And we all know that isn't quite the case with politicians.
Montreal Will Get Its First “Feminist” Metro Line
Anyone who has kept tabs on the mayoral election, or just Plante’s campaign, will know about the proposed Pink Line. Connecting downtown Montreal to the city’s north-east end, the Pink Line will connect the city unlike before. To make the metro line a bit more feminist, Plante has suggested that the stations be named after prominent females from Montreal’s long history. Keep in mind, however, that Plante did admit that the Pink Line probably won’t become a reality until her second term as mayor.
Cheaper Public Transit, Free Tickets For Kids And The Elderly
For low-income earners, Plante has pledged to make riding the bus or metro more affordable. Anyone living under the poverty line will be privy to a 40% price-cut on STM fares. Young kids (under 12) and older adults (over 65) will be made entirely free, according to Plante’s campaign promise. Both are achievable by using existing provincial funding, said Plante.
An End To Caleches
It seems like each and every summer, there’s some video posted about caleches that leads to a controversy and sparks debate. This summer was no different. But following this summer’s caleche-controversy, Plante vowed to put a stop to the “inhumane and unsafe industry.”
More Bike Paths
Plante has said in almost every public speaking opportunity how her administration is going to improve cyclist infrastructure in the city. An increased number of dedicated bike lanes has a promise since Plante’s campaign began, and she will also look for ways to improve safety for cyclists.
Less Traffic Woes
Moving the city more efficiently was a major election platform for Plante, and while the new mayor focused heavily on public transit, she also has plans for car drivers. Plante has pledged for better coordination on roadway projects, so orange cones won’t be so anger-inspiring. A dedicated traffic coordinator will be one of the ways to make this happen in Plante’s plan.
Taxes Won’t Go Any Higher
Balancing the budget is always a prime concern of any mayor, but it isn’t something Plante is really worried about. To get Montreal back in the green, Plante isn’t going to need to raise taxes. Instead the new mayor of Montreal is going to do away with the spending habits of the former mayor, Denis Coderre. According to Plante, the Projet Montreal administration can already cut $35 million in expenses from the current budget, with a large chunk of that having to do with Montreal 375 celebrations and Formula E.
Construction Won’t Kill Businesses
Inspired by a model in Brussels, Plante plans to create financial tax breaks for any businesses beleaguered by construction. Depending on how long the construction project takes and the level of disruption created, businesses will be able to receive tax breaks from the city to help them through the loss of customers created by the construction. Specifics on the tax breaks haven’t been revealed quite yet.
Better Chalets In City Parks
Disappointed with the state of chalets in Montreal’s many parks, Plante pledged to increase city-spending on the recreational structures during her campaign. Plante noted how chalets are in need of repair and rarely open, creating a lack of public space for Montrealers. To ameliorate this situation, Plante said she will provide individual boroughs with funding to renovate and hire staff for chalets.
More Affordable Housing
Montreal is in need of social housing as real estate prices steadily rise. In response, Plante has pledged to increase Montreal supply of affordable housing units. Plante has promised to create a rule that will require builders to reserve 40% of units in new developments for social and affordable housing. Over the next four years, this will create about 12,000 social housing units.
A “Not Just Downtown And Le Plateau” Strategy For The City
One of the main criticisms towards Plante during her campaign was a worry that she would focus on more central boroughs, like Le Plateau, and pay no heed to neighbourhoods outside of Montreal’s urban core. By appointing Benoit Dorais on to her executive committee, Plante is ensuring that won’t be the case. The incumbent Sud-Ouest borough mayor, Dorais has been in municipal politics for quite a while, serving a variety of rolls at city hall. Through Dorais, Plante is making sure her administration has some political pedigree while also creating a sense that decisions made at city hall won’t solely benefit folks in the downtown area.