Montreal's SPCA delighted with Valerie Plante's election

The Montreal SPCA, who led the battle against outgoing mayor Denis Coderre's contentious ban on pit bull-type dogs, expressed its delight with the election of Valerie Plante to replace him — barely minutes after the announcement was made.

“This election is wonderful news for the animals in the Montreal area,” the group's executive director, Élise Desaulniers, wrote in a statement issued late Sunday night. “Citizens of Montreal expect to see big changes in animal welfare and services in their city during the tenure of Mayor Plante, with whom we look forward to working.”

Speaking with Natasha Hall on Monday, Desaulniers says that while she's optimistic, she's hoping the new mayor will be able to follow through on some of her promises.

"We heard what she said about the pit bull ban, and we're glad she will follow what science is saying and what the coroner's office also pointed out," Desaulnier says. "But we also hope that she will spend more money on animal services in Montreal. If we want a safer community and better services for animals, we need more money in animal services."

Desaulniers says she expects a move to reverse the city's pit bull rules, and an end the horse-drawn carriage industry in Old Montreal.

"The calèche industry was something we hoped the Coderre industry would solve, but didn't happen," she said. "It's in Projet Montreal's program, so we hope as soon as next summer she will start phasing out the industry."

The Coderre administration tried, and failed, to implement a one-year moratorium on calèches before the summer of 2016.

Desaulniers said she was pleased that this was the first mayoralty election where animal welfare was a significant issue.