Coderre vs. Plante: Last minute pitches and promises
Published Friday, November 3, 2017 7:21PM EDT
On the final weekday of the municipal campaign, Valerie Plante was pressing the flesh on the metro and in Monkland village while Coderre visited the editorial team at Le Devoir as well as several places of worship.
After making a public mea cuIpa on Thursday in admitting that the number of tickets sold for the Formula E race should have been disclosed earlier, Coderre has been relying on his team of councillors and borough mayors to spread the message that Plante is inexperienced.
On Friday Anie Samson, borough mayor of Villeray St. Michel Park Extension, said that Plante's Projet Montreal has made many promises without determining how to pay for it.
"For only five of their 474 promises, only five, they cost over $800 million. Who's going to pay for that?" said Samson.
Harout Chitilian, who Coderre has said will be president of the Executive Committee if re-elected, was also on the attack against Projet Montreal.
"We established that they have created in their promises 900 new positions. 900 new positions is $102 million," said Chitilian.
Meanwhile some critics thought Coderre was bragging when a press release for an event on Tuesday said that Mayor Denis Coderre would be in attendance -- although regardless of the outcome of Sunday's vote, Coderre will be mayor until the municipal inauguration on Nov. 16.
Throughout the day Plante talked up her plans for tax cuts while increasing public transit, and insisted she is ready to lead the city of Montreal.
"I'm not this formatic (sic) politician. I've had a life before. I'm surrounded by a strong team and that's what really matters," said Plante.
She also hit up her supporters in St. Henri, visiting the restaurateurs that have endorsed her after the Southwest borough, controlled by Projet Montreal, banned competitors from opening restaurants in the area.
In an image meant to evoke national leaders, Plante and Southwest borough mayor Benoit Dorais sat at the same table that was occupied by Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama earlier this year.
Plante said the criticisms thrown her way are similar to what has been said about Trudeau.
"I don't lack experience at all, it's exactly what the Conservatives were saying about Justin Trudeau, and now he's running the country, and he's going a pretty good job," said Plante.
The Globe and Mail's Les Perreaux said Plante has managed to humble Coderre.
"Denis Coderre has done a lot for the city but the problem is when you do an incredible amount of things is tha there will always be a lot of things that will go wrong," said Perreaux.
He said that it's obvious that Coderre has accomplished much, but that his tone is harsher than Plante's.
"Obviously Mr. Coderre knows more. He's run the city, he knows the place inside and out, but sometimes people aren't looking for that, they're looking for someone who makes them feel better about where their city is going," said Perreaux.
That sentiment was echoed by political analyst Martin Patriquin, who said the Formula E problems are a self-inflicted wound.
"The astonishing thing about this is that he could have avoided the entire thing," said Patriquin.
"He kept pushing it off, and in a pressure cooker of a campaign if there's anybody that knows this, it's a seasoned politician like Denis Coderre."
As for Plante, Patriquin believes that she knows that many of her promises will never be fulfilled.
"She said she would drop transit rates for the elderly and the underprivileged. She knows she can't do that on her own and she pretended to," said Patriquin.
"For an outsider she's behaving an awful lot like an establishment politician."