Following yesterday’s swearing-in-ceremony, Montreal officially has a brand new mayor: Valérie Plante.
The first female mayor of Montreal, the 45th overall, was met with utter glee (and a standing ovation) when she took the stage at Marché Bonsecours for the inauguration ceremony.
Obviously there was plenty of pomp and revelry, and Plante, in her typical charming-and-energetic style, pleased the masses gathered to see her sworn in as mayor.
The whole ceremony wasn’t a photo op. Plante used the event to outline her major goals as mayor, all covered in her first official speech as mayor.
Here’s are the issues Plante is going to target first mayor of Montreal:
Better Mobility & Public Transit
No surprise here, since Plante is famous for championing better public transit in Montreal. Mobility, according to Plante, is Montreal’s “biggest key economic and social factor.” Plante understands the issues facing public transit users and drivers alike, since she “live[s] it every day,” the mayor said.
Plante’s proposed Pink Line addition to the metro was a major campaign promise and, given her remarks on mobility, it looks like it will actually be a priority for the new mayor. But, it’s worth noting, PLante didn’t pecifically mention the Pink Link during her speech. She did, however, allude to funding for public transit projects. More buses on the road and transit aimed to service seniors were also brought up by Plante.
Helping Out Local Business
Montreal is going through an economic boom right now. The city’s ever-growing tech sector has a lot to do with that, but Plante aims to boost the economy by turning towards local businesses. Plante accentuated the need for improving the economic environment for small businesses in Montreal. Potential tax breaks for small businesses were mentioned by Plante during her campaign.
Increased Road Safety
Linked to mobility, Plante also promised to make Montreal’s streets less dangerous for everyone on the road. Increasing the length of crossing times was specifically mentioned by Plante, which will improve safety for pedestrians, particularly seniors who may need a bit more time crossing the street.
More Affordable Housing
In what may have been slight jab at former mayor Denis Coderre, Plante pointed out that the “cranes are up” in Montreal, but very little is being built with families and low-income earners in mind. Housing in Montreal is a “major challenge” for Plante. Instead of building condos and commercial locations, more needs to be done to keep families in Montreal, like increasing the amount of social housing. Plante’s plan to force developers to include social housing projects in all new construction developments may be the mayor’s first plan to combat the city’s housing problem.
Easier To Access Public Services
The last top priority mentioned by Plante is making public services in Montreal more accessible. This includes libraries and event spaces. To do so, Plante asked Montreal’s public service employees to “step up” and make accessibility a priority.