$20 million. That’s how much a report concerning the state of Montreal’s calèche industry recommends Montreal invest to improve horse-and-carriage conditions in the city.
Valérie Plante and her administration, however, are refusing to put city money towards an industry they plan to abolish.
The 326-page report, created by the organization Cheval Cheval, was released yesterday by the Plante administration. Originally, the report was commissioned under Denis Coderre, and was kept secret by the previous mayor’s administration, reports Le Devoir.
Now out in the open, the report calls for $20 million in investment to build a new stable in Old Montreal, a “pony club” at Parc Angrignon, and a horse musuem, at a cost of $13 million, $5.5 million, and $1 million, respectively.
But again, the Plante administration is not planning on investing such large sums of money into Montreal’s calèche industry. The new mayor campaigned on the promise of dismantling the rather controversial industry, after all.
"Given the clear guidelines proposed during the election campaign concerning horse-drawn carriages in Montreal, I must recommend to the executive committee to not pursue this type of very expensive investment," said Councilor Craig Sauvé, the councillor in charge of citizen services and mobility.
“The Mayor has made it clear that the carriages will end” said Sauvé, according to Le Devoir.
“The how and when, that's what remains to be seen.”
Despite the lack of a solid plan to end the industry in Montreal, Sauvé did allude to some sort of proposal being presented prior to next spring, when the calèche business starts to get going.
Mayor Valérie Plante has said in the past, however, that she plans to buy back the special horse-drawn carriage permits from calèche owners, granted to them by the City of Montreal.
And in case you need a reminder as to why the new administration is so keen on ending the seemingly cute-and-magical practice of horse-drawn carriages in Montreal, just watch this video and you’ll understand.