Mayor-elect discusses flooding, Formula E, and public transit in Montreal with provincial minister
Montreal's mayor-elect discussed flooding, public transit, and other issues on Tuesday in what was the first of many meetings with the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
The Pink Line, one of the key planks of Valerie Plante's platform, was one topic of discussion, but Martin Coiteux said the province has to focus on projects that are already underway including the REM light-rail line and the Blue line extension to the existing metro system.
"We have also reserved some money for some of those priorities already. Blue Line will be probably the next one because it is really a priority for us and for Montreal as well," said Coiteux.
Plante is in agreement with working on those before getting to the surface-level and underground transit line running from Lachine to Montreal North.
"The needs are there so to me it's not in opposition," said Plante. "we have a window of opportunity both from Ottawa and Quebec in terms of proposing, coming up with ideas for transport, public transit."
Plante said she hopes to move next year's Formula E race off of city streets to the Gilles Villeneuve racetrack, but said she has to study the matter further.
Plante is certain that she does not want the race to once again take place in the Gay Village.
"It's not going to happen in the streets of Montreal because we've seen how it was difficult for both businesses and citizens as well," said Plante.
One obstacle is that in order to fulfill the contract with Formula One, the Gilles Villeneuve racetrack was under construction this past summer, and will be worked on again next year after June's event.
"My conviction or my will is to make sure that we will honour the contract of the Formula E, there are two editions left. That said I don't have all the documents of what needs to be done, for example the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve," said Plante.
Coiteux said progress continues to be made in helping the victims of the spring flooding, although the sheer number of those affected taxed the provincial government.
Plante said she was happy with what had already been done to help victims and would have to look at how to prevent more flooding in the future.
"Let's not forget this event put a lot of pressure on the existing system because there were a lot of victims of the flooding," said Plante.
Overall, both politicians said they expect to spend many hours working together.
"Quebec cannot be the prosperous province it is without the economic prosperity of Montreal," said Coiteux.