Mayor Valerie Plante says she's proud of her first year in office
Mayor Valerie Plante marked the first anniversary of her election victory on Monday morning by heading to the Bonaventure metro station to meet and greet Montrealers on their way to work.
Heading into her second year, she attempted to position herself as the champion of transportation in the city — saying the greatest accomplishment of her first year was finalizing the purchase of 300 new hybrid buses for the STM. Those vehicles are slated to hit the road in 2020.
"I always said I would be the mayor of mobility, and I've shown it over the last year." Plante said. "And we're going to continue working on it."
And once again, she touted the controversial summertime pilot project banning through traffic on Mount Royal as a success. She also pointed to increasing subsidies for families wishing to buy homes in Montreal, and increasing the range of car-sharing programs.
Meanwhile, in year two, she has some clear goals for her administration's upcoming second budget.
"I like to say that last year was a transition budget and we've said it a few times. This time it's our budget. You're going to see our priorities being put forward in this budget. Money being dedicated to some of the priorities that we have which is mobility, housing, supporting businesses as well," the mayor said.
Poll gives Plante mixed reviews for first year
While Plante was all smiles greeting Metro passengers and reporters on Monday, a poll out this weekend gives her mixed reviews on her first-year performance.
The Leger poll in Saturday's Journal de Montreal shows nearly half of Montrealers want to see someone other than Plante run City Hall. 42 per cent of those polled told Leger they were happy with her performance, while 44 per cent wanted a change — numbers comparable to where Denis Coderre was at the end of his third year as mayor.
About 6 in 10 Montrealers were upset with municipal taxes. Initially, Plante had promised to limit any tax increases to the rate of inflation, but hiked them by an average of three per cent.
A vast majority of those polled — 68 per cent — say they're unhappy with the traffic flow in the city since Plante became mayor.
As lukewarm as those numbers are, however, she may be benefiting from the fact she doesn't have much of an opposition, at least not for the moment — only 36 per cent of those polled know who Ensemble Montreal leader Lionel Perez is. Ensemble Montreal is what was once known as Team Coderre, and Perez took the leader's job on an interim basis after Coderre's election defeat.
Meanwhile, the poll wasn't kind to another Projet Montreal stalwart — Plateau Mont-Royal borough mayor Luc Ferrandez. Only 21 per cent of those polled approve of the job he's doing.