With a year to go until election, Montreal mayor touts accomplishments in speech to party faithful

Three years to the day after the election that brought her to power, Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante defended her record in a speech to her Projet Montreal party faithful on Sunday.

Among the accomplishments she touted were a deal with the provincial government to support part of her promised Pink metro line in the form of a tramway and the new express bicycle network that lines St. Denis St., as well as social housing funding from Ottawa and Quebec City.

But there are storm clouds ahead as Plante heads into a year that will see her hoping to convince voters to vote for her once again. Her party has faced criticism for a lack of diversity – last week a city councillor introduced a motion calling on the city's parties to commit to running more visible minorities, which comprise only seven of the 103 city and borough councillors.

“We have to have diversity in mind,” said Plante. “We want to make sure people from different backgrounds feel comfortable, feel welcome.”

Plante said she plans to reach out to minority communities but did not give specifics on how she would increase the diversity of her team.

“We want to do mentorship, we want to offer tools for people to get to understand better how the party works, how it functions,” she said.

There are other clouds on the horizon: in a recent poll, six out of 10 Montrealers said they don't plan to vote for her next year. The economy has suffered enormously during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing spread of the disease means campaigning won't be easy.

“Not being able to meet people face-to-face is a huge challenge,” she acknowledged.  

SIGN UP NOW

Stay up-to-date and in-the-know by subscribing to one of our newsletters