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'Incompetence': Poilievre fires at Valerie Plante on social media, again


Pierre Poilievre has once again accused Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante of incompetence on social media.

In a post to X on Monday, the Conservative leader commented on Plante's attendance at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet meeting in Montreal.

"After saying there's no link between municipalities and the federal government, the mayor of Montreal attends Trudeau's cabinet meeting. Another incompetent," he wrote.

He reiterated that his "common-sense plan" will provide additional funding to cities that allow more construction "like Trois-Rivières and Saguenay" and penalize those that hinder it.

In another post about an hour later, Poilievre shared a Journal de Montréal article from May that reported Plante was soliciting funds from the provincial and federal governments to finance the construction of social housing.

"What incompetence," he wrote. "One day she's saying that municipal housing has nothing to do with the federal government. Two days later, she says the exact opposite."

Poilievre had made headlines last week by using that same word -- "incompetent" -- to describe the mayors of Montreal and Quebec City, Valérie Plante and Bruno Marchand.

He criticized the Liberal government for paying "billions" to these mayors despite what he described as a "massive drop in construction in Quebec."

Mayor Plante had replied, also through social media, that "common sense" also meant "understanding that in Quebec, federal funding for housing does NOT go through the cities."

Mayor Marchand, meanwhile, accused Poilievre of playing "petty politics."

In Quebec, legislative provisions prevent the federal government from paying money directly to cities, i.e., without first reaching an agreement with the provincial government. That said, cities still receive federal funding.

Speaking briefly to reporters on her way to the cabinet meeting, Plante said she had been invited to "talk about the reality of the housing crisis" in her city and in Quebec City. She declined to answer questions.

Shortly before the Conservative leader's latest social media post, federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser expressed his outrage at the insults hurled in recent days.

"It's unbelievable for a federal politician to declare another person, a mayor, incompetent. It's not appropriate," he said.

Fraser said he had learned "a lot" from the discussions with the mayor during the day to find "appropriate" and "unique" solutions to the housing crisis.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 22, 2024. Top Stories

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