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Valerie Blunt reveals her ambitions for a second term

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Tony Vaughn
Tony Vaughn
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Development of new neighborhoods, economic recovery and the creation of new parks across the city: On Saturday, Montreal Mayor Valerie Planet laid down her priority list for the next four years, should she get a second term in November. However, some sensitive proposals from his training will be dealt behind closed doors on Sunday.

Nearly 300 members of Projet Montréal participate in the weekend conference with the aim of laying the foundations for the electoral platform of Mrs. Plant’s party for the municipal elections in November. The pandemic obligated, the event, which has been running since Saturday morning, is taking place in a hypothetical form.

“If there is one thing we did not expect, it is an epidemic,” the President of Projet Montréal said Saturday morning, during an opening speech. Nobody, on a planetary scale, would have imagined that we were in a situation like this and it clearly had an impact on the progress of some of our projects. “

However, despite this particular context, the Mayor considers that her administration has succeeded in “continuing the path” in achieving the electoral platform on which it was elected in 2017. Ms. Blunt particularly emphasized that this month’s entry into force. New regulation to include housing and implement tax breaks for small businesses in recent years.

“If there are people telling us that we don’t care enough about the small business, that is wrong. We are the only administration that has lowered the tax rate on small business owners a lot,” the mayor said.

More parks

On the other hand, the mayor promised to “expand our network of parks” if she is re-elected next November, as the epidemic has shown how these green spaces are “popular” in the capital. The huge list of proposals prepared in anticipation of this conference also proposes the creation of new green spaces in the east of the island, such as the “Grand parc de la Pointe-de-l’Île”.

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“The reason I am so associated with parks is because I see all the economic and tourism potential of being this city that we come to for fun, but also where we can walk or maybe rent a bike. Moving from one green space to another from east to west and from north to south,” explained the lady. Blunt.

On the one hand, Valérie Plante management continues the path of creating “carbon neutral zones”, particularly in Lachine-Est, on the site of the former Blue Bonnets racetrack and the site of the former Molson-Coors brewery. Sectors that will ultimately be able to accommodate many of the “affordable and social housing” units, Ms Blunt expects.

The location of the car in question

During the first day of the conference, Saturday, several mobility issues were discussed by the members of Projet Montréal. The construction of new cycle paths, pedestrian streets, and common streets were particularly discussed. The proposal recommending that universal accessibility issues be taken into account when implementing such facilities also received positive support from a large majority of the membership.

On the one hand, the creation of the kilometer tax in order to increase the contribution of motorists to financing public transportation has sparked debate among members.

“I think we are there. You should be able to review the application [sur le réseau routier] According to him, such a tax measure would reduce congestion on roads, and the social and economic repercussions are significant in the capital, ”the head of infrastructure in the Executive Committee, Sylvain Oleh, argued.

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A closed door makes people interact

In all, over a hundred proposals were submitted within the framework of this conference. By the end of this event, just over thirty of them, which are considered priorities, will be submitted for approval. However, sensitive issues related in particular to combating homelessness and financing the Montreal Police Department will be dealt with in a closed session Sunday morning, out of the media’s eye.

“We have nothing to hide from Projet Montreal. We can have these discussions in public.” Alex Norris, a counselor to Jane Mance, who vehemently opposed the proposal responded. This finally got the approval of a slim majority of 56% of party members at the end of the afternoon .

We have nothing to hide from Projet Montreal. We can have these discussions in public. We have everything to gain from doing so with transparency.

Maintaining unity

On Saturday, Mrs. Blunt was keen to create a sense of unity within her party, emphasizing in particular that “The History of Our City” will not be written with “I”, but with “We.” A statement that comes at a time when the party is quietly recovering from the loss of a large part of its members, whose number in recent years has decreased from more than 5,000 in 2017 to just over 2,000 last October, as Radio Canada reported in time.

Nevertheless, Julian Acosta, Communications Director for the Montreal Project, says, “This number has been rising steadily since last October.” As of Saturday, the party had 2,483 members. “We know who our opponent will be in the end, so he is motivating the forces,” says Mr. Acosta, referring to the confirmation of Denise Coudry’s participation in the next race as Mayor, Commander of Montreal’s squad.

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In addition, the party had four electors from Progate Montreal left or were expelled from it last year. Other advisers also affirmed their “desire not to stand again” this year, Mr. Acosta admits, without moving further. He adds, “We will respect their desire to announce this whenever they want.”

The seats left vacant due to these departures will be an opportunity for Projet Montréal to present candidates from different neighborhoods in certain areas “where they have a chance to win,” confirms Julian Acosta. In 2017, the party did not elect any candidate from an apparent minority to the city council. He has since recruited Cathy Wong, who was elected for the first time in Denise Coder’s formation.

“I can’t wait for new faces to be added to us and to be able to build a team that reflects Montreal today, but also Montreal tomorrow,” Valerie Blunt said during his speech.

The party convention will resume on Sunday morning.

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