Candidates campaign with borough collaboration, safe schools
Published Monday, October 14, 2013 5:07PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 15, 2013 8:05PM EDT
Differing visions for the future of Montreal were at the centre of the mayoral campaign as it rolled along Thanksgiving Monday, with two candidates on the trail and the frontrunner taking the day off.
Marcel Cote said it's all about building trust and a better management of the city, claiming that the biggest issue is a lack of leadership. He went so far as to spell out the key issue.
“You want your city to work better, trust has to be established. Trust, T-R-U-S-T, has to be the number one priority,” said Cote.
If elected, the Coalition Montreal leader said he would work more closely with the boroughs to share resources so Montrealers will finally see the economies of scale they were promised when the former suburbs were merged with Montreal more than a decade ago.
“The costs can be shared and the costs can be minimized by working and coordinating our activities,” he said, adding that boroughs would be encouraged to work together on projects like snow clearing.
“There'll be (savings) because there'll be more use of the equipment and there'll be a sharing of the costs,” he said.
That idea of trust and closer collaboration was dismissed, however, by Projet Montreal's Richard Bergeron.
“It's so obvious. You don't have to say that at 20 days to voting day. That's not a commitment,” he said.
Cote is also promising to limit property tax increases to the rate of inflation and to allow home owners to pay their property taxes in 12 monthly installments.
Bergeron said Cote is behind on that idea.
“It's already in the machine,” he said, adding that the campaign should be about other priorities.
The Projet Montreal leader made the statements while in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, where three schools were recently closed. He said that's no way to encourage families to stay in the city.
“Keeping our families in Montreal; that's important. It’s about investing in transit, about having safe neighbourhoods around the school,” said Bergeron.
Mayoral candidate Denis Coderre took the holiday Monday off from campaigning, but his main political opponent Richard Bergeron said that's a bad decision.
“He's too confident. Take care, Mister Coderre. I'm running after you,” threatened Bergeron.
Coderre, meantime, will campaign harder Tuesday with an evening rally planned at the Palais des Congres.