Montreal votes: Coderre talks bikes, Plante on balancing the books
Published Monday, October 9, 2017 6:31PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 9, 2017 6:50PM EDT
Mayor Denis Coderre unveiled his vision for Montreal’s transport should he win a second term on Monday, while opponent Valerie Plante wanted to discuss fiscal responsibility.
The incumbent mentioned previously announced plans to make 21 of the city’s metro stations more accessible, starting with the De L’Eglise and Laurier stops.
“It’s all planned, the money is there and we’re going to fulfill it,” he said.
Coderre also vowed to build slightly elevated bike lanes and spoke of making Mount Royal a safer place. Last week, an 18-year-old cyclist was killed after being struck by a motor vehicle.
Velo Quebec spokesperson Suzanne Lareau said she’s heard those promises before but did praise Coderre’s vow to build new north-south bike paths connecting Riviere-Des-Prairies and the St-Lawrence.
“We need another north-south link for cyclists for sure,” she said. “The current one on Boyer St. and Christophe Colombe has plenty of cyclists.”
Also in his plans for making the city safer for cyclists is the creation of a committee specifically for them and pedestrians.
Plante, however, said those types of committees are far too numerous already and eat up a sizeable chunk of taxpayers’ dollars.
“They decided to do offices for every big subject that comes out,” she said.
Plante said if elected, she would do away with costly big-ticket items, pointing at the summer’s Formula E race as an example.
“There was a lot of money spent on the 375th (anniversary celebrations) and I don’t want to criticize the celebration itself,” she said. “But there’s a problem when there’s no accountability.”
For two years, Montreal has posted a surplus but this year, a deficit of $31 million on the city’s $5.2 billion budget is expected. Coderre’s administration has pointed to recent collective agreements with the city’s police, firefighter and blue collar workers as the cause of the deficit but Plante said she intends to balance the books without costing taxpayers more money.
“We’ve always said it’s not a question of raising taxes as this point,” she said.