Montreal election today: Valerie Plante and Denis Coderre in a rematch for mayor

Montrealers are heading to the polls today to pick a new mayor following a campaign that saw the last election's incumbent and challenger swap roles.

Incumbent Mayor Valerie Plante is looking for a second mandate and running against Denis Coderre, the one-term Montreal mayor she beat in 2017.

Plante, whose first term was shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, says she improved the quality of life in the city and is promising to focus on fighting climate change and building more social housing.

Plante called her campaign fun, and that it was a great opportunity to be back on the streets after a trying COVID-19 pandemic.

She said a goal heading into the election was to field a team that reflects the metropolis's diverse demographic.

"My goal before the election was to diversify candidates in terms of background, ethnicity, (and) in terms of gender," she said. "We've reached our goal big time, and that makes me proud."

Codere, a former federal Liberal cabinet minister, says the city has become dirtier and more dangerous since he left office, and he is promising to boost Montreal's image internationally.

Coderre said this campaign, his 12th, was one of his best.

"Because of the team, because of the way we propose alternatives we want to show to the people that Montreal needs to bring back the magic of Montreal," he said. "We've been saying since day one that we need a Montreal safer, cleaner and clearly we need to make sure we control the taxpayer money because we've been spending like crazy." 

By noon, Elections Montreal said voter turnout was at 25 per cent.

Élection générale 2021 | Le taux de participation à 12 h aujourd'hui est de 25,4 %. #polmtl #mtl2021 pic.twitter.com/y4UUpBB4w1

— Élections Montréal (@elections_MTL) November 7, 2021

It's not just Montrealers who are voting today: Quebecers across the province are choosing their mayors and city councillors, with results expected by the end of the night.

In Quebec City, voters are choosing a replacement for Regis Labeaume, who stepped down after more than a decade in municipal politics.

You can tune in to a CJAD 800 election special starting at 8 p.m. tonight with Aaron Rand and David Heurtel with results and analysis from Montreal and other key races.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Nov. 7, 2021.

-- With reporting from CTV News Montreal.

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