Mayoral hopeful Denis Coderre releases 'Montreal for all' platform ahead of fall election
MONTREAL -- Montreal mayoral hopeful Denis Coderre released his platform Monday ahead of the fall election, with wide-ranging promises on issues from housing and the environment, to public safety.
Speaking on the 31st floor of Montreal’s famous rotating restaurant, Portus 360, Coderre outlined his vision for the city over the next 25 years, if voters choose him as mayor.
“We’re not for the next election only. We’re running to make sure that we are planning for the next generation,” Coderre said with a panoramic view of the island behind him.
He said he’s running again because there is a lack of leadership at city hall and the current administration has neglected Montreal’s “sense of metropolis” that he said he will bring back to the city.
Part of the plan is to lure more people to live and work downtown, that has seen a dramatic drop in foot traffic in the last 18 months of the pandemic and businesses closing their doors for good.
He also promises to create a “quality commitment charter” to make sure public transit is punctual, clean, and safe for users and to submit timelines to a monitoring committee for large-scale transit projects, such as the Blue line expansion project.
His Ensemble Montreal team spoke Monday about the importance of fighting climate change and vowed to plant a tree on every street and to transform the city’s east end into a “green Silicon Valley” in Quebec “with green businesses, eco-responsible housing and development focused on the social and circular economy.”
The Coderre administration also said it would seek UNESCO designation for Mount Royal.
Coderre also pledged to hold landlords more accountable by creating a lease registry and to require owners to do an independent inspection of unsanitary conditions in buildings that are more than 20 years old.
“We can't wait for the people most in need to know the process of the city to report to us an absolutely terrifying problem,” said Guillaume Lavoie, co-chair of the Ensemble Montreal electoral platform.
Coderre's biggest opponent, incumbent mayor Valerie Plante, also released her campaign pledge on the housing file Monday, promising to create a landlord certificate to put an end to so-called renovictions and to keep rental prices down. The Projet Montreal party stated the certification would be required for landlords who have buildings with eight or more units, which translates to roughly 216,000 units across the city.
Where Plante and Coderre are on the same page is body cameras for police officers. Coderre has been a longtime defender of police body cameras since he believes they can rebuild trust between officers and the community they serve.
If elected, Montreal police patrol officers would wear body cameras within the first year of Coderre's mandate, said Guillaume Lavoie, a Ensemble Montreal mayoral candidate for Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension.
Coderre was asked why so much of his platform touched on Montreal’s image as a bustling metropolis rather than things like homelessness and accessibility. He said he will devote more time later in the campaign to speak about those specific issues, but did suggest that making Montreal a more international city helps to fund other core social services.
“I think that we can think global and act local. It’s not one against each other. It’s one because of the other,” he said.
“If you want to distribute wealth, you have to create it … If you want to be relevant again and create that wealth you need to have an international strategy because Montreal is an international city.”
He’s hoping to take his “Montreal for all” message to voters as they prepare to head back to the polls on Nov. 7.