Montreal mayor calls on provincial parties to commit more to city in upcoming election

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Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said on Monday that the city would be able to better achieve its goals with stronger support from the province. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said on Monday that the city would be able to better achieve its goals with stronger support from the province. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)

As Quebec's provincial election draws near, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is calling on all political parties to come up with a clear plan to support the city's vision for the future.

Montreal's economic, cultural and social development benefits the entire province and must be continuously supported by the government of Quebec, the city says in a statement.

The mayor is calling on parties to support an overhaul of municipal taxation and adopt a major infrastructure investment plan that suits the city's vision.

"The next provincial elections are really a crucial moment in the history of Quebec to make the necessary choices for the future of the metropolis and of Quebec," said Plante during a news briefing Monday.

She said Montreal is already working on addressing issues such as climate change, gun violence and the housing crisis, but the city can't do it alone.

Proper financial support from Quebec would allow Montreal to achieve goals such as reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, protecting neighbourhood diversity through the construction of social housing and developing public transit, the city says.

"We have ambition, but we lack the means," Plante said.

Plante did not say exactly how much funding Montreal needs, but she made it clear that by the Oct. 3 election, provincial parties must vow to do more for the city.

"While the city is increasingly proactive, its financial resources have remained essentially the same and largely dependant on the property tax," Montreal says in a statement.

"The next government of Quebec will have to support the City of Montreal in the overhaul of its tax structure. This structure will have to evolve toward a tax system adapted to the transformation of the economy and to the responsibilities of local governments."

Along with overhauling taxation so more money goes into city coffers, Montreal is calling on the government to modernize expropriation laws and invest more in police services.

"The first thing we are asking of political parties is a clear and quantified plan for the green, safe, affordable and prosperous future of the metropolis," Plante said on Twitter.

The city also wants a larger investment in the protection and construction of affordable and social housing.

Ensemble Montréal, the city's opposition party, wasn't included in this vision that Plante is calling for, said Coun. Abdelhaq Sari on Monday.

"They are not invited to work for these demands and they are not invited today to be with the mayor," said Sari.

Sari, who speaks to public security issues for his party, said he was surprised Plante did not put public security at the top of her list of demands.

"Montrealers expect strong leadership in public safety," he wrote on Twitter later in the day.

"However, the mayor remained vague in her requests to Quebec. My observation: Public safety is not Projet Montréal's priority."