Mayoral candidates outline promises for businesses, housing

With municipal elections a month away, Montreal front runners Valerie Plante and Denis Coderre made major campaign announcements Friday morning, putting support for struggling businesses and solutions to the housing crisis on the table.

Ensemble Montreal's Denis Coderre pledged to build 50,000 housing units over four years, blaming bureaucracy for slowing down housing development.

"I truly believe that by those 50,000 more units in four years, that we will address clearly the situation [with] housing," said Coderre.

He said that if elected, adding more housing regulations will be a priority in the first year of his mandate.

His plan would require all new residential developments of 25 units or more to include at least 15 per cent social and community housing, with incentives for developers to build greater density.

Coderre also pledged to develop under-utilized land, including the old Blue Bonnets raceway, and to finish the Cavendish Blvd. connector.

"We all know that Projet Montreal is totally against Cavendish," Coderre said.

Projet Montreal's Valerie Plante also wants to build more affordable housing. She has pledged $800 over 10 years to build 60,000 units.

But on Friday she focused on her plans to support commerce in the city, committing $111 million to support local businesses.

Plante said efforts will go to "ensuring the affordability of commercial premises," lowering taxes on small commercial buildings "so they have even more money in their pockets," and making permanent the temporary emergency funds businesses used during the pandemic.  

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