Long-promised covered expressways and debate exclusion, Montreal mayoral race continues
As the countdown to election day marches on, Montreal's candidates are putting their best feet forward to draw supporters to the polls on Nov. 7. Former mayor Denis Coderre promised to cover two expressways, while Balarama Holness urged his rivals to push for his inclusion in the upcoming debate.
Incumbant candidate Valerie Plante, for her part, took a day off from campaigning Sunday, but is expected to make a major announcement on homelessness Monday. Her party, Project Montreal, told CTV News she plans to double spending on the city's unhoused population, for a total of $24 million over four years if elected.
She’ll also announce her plan to create more social housing – upping her promise by a few hundred dollars for a total of $1,200 by the end of the next mayoral term.
Ensemble Montreal leader Denis Coderre, meanwhile, said his party would cover the Ville-Marie and Decarie highways as part of his administration's infrastructure plan.
"Today is a great day: we are announcing to Montrealers that we are going to remedy the two urban scars that are the Decarie and Ville-Marie Expressways to make this city beautiful and pleasant for all, and to ensure a link between all citizens," said Coderre.
The plan is to cover the Decarie from Queen Marie St. to Cote-Sainte-Catherine St. and install a park with outdoor sports facilities, a relaxation area, and a fountain.
It's a plan that has been talked about for around half a century, including when Coderre was mayor from 2013 to 2017.
Coderre said it was part of his plan then, and will be part of it now.
"We laid a foundation stone four years ago and since then, the current administration has placed leadership on the neutral," said Coderre.
The plan is estimated at a price tag of $700 million.
Ensemble Montreal's plan for the Ville-Marie is to cover the four-hectare space from Sanguinet St. to St-Laurent Blvd. and install a public square, which will be designed after an open competition.
That project will cost around $400 million and be part of the expansion of the Palais des Congres.
Projet Montreal said it is also looking at the issue.
"We are talking about a study to see how much it costs and then ask Quebec to pay," the party said. "This is the kind of project that will not be realized tomorrow morning."
The Mouvement Montreal leader is, meanwhile, calling on Plante and Coderre to urge organizers of the Oct. 18 economic debate for the 2021 municipal elections to allow Holness to attend.
"We need to make sure that all Montrealers are aware of the platform of Movement Montreal, of Ensemble Montreal and Projet Montreal so all Montrealers can make an informed decision on Nov. 7," he said.
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