Montreal's new mayor mixed experience with some new faces as she unveiled her executive committee on Monday morning.
At a presentation at city hall, Valerie Plante named the team who will act as advisors on issues ranging from transport to budget to heritage. The team of 12, plus Plante, is one member larger than is traditional for the executive committee.
"During my inauguration speech, I mentioned i have an obligation to get the job done," said Plante. "I want to be clear, this burden is shared by all borough and city councillors. We all have to deliver results to the people we serve daily, whether it's in our boroughs or at the municipal council."
Plante followed through on her campaign promise to name South-West borough mayor Benoit Dorais as president of the committee.
Dorais is joined by the following:
- Magda Popeanu: Housing. CDN-NDG City Councillor
- Sylvain Ouellet: Water and infrastructure. Villeray St. Michel Park Extension City Councillor
- Eric Alan Caldwell: Transport, urban life and public consultations. Mercier Hochelaga Maisonneuve City Councillor
- Christine Gosselin: Culture, heritage and city planning. Rosemont La Petite Patrie City Councillor
- Luc Ferrandez: Parks, sustainable development and major projects. Plateau-Mont-Royal borough mayor
- Nathalie Goulet: Public safety. Ahuntsic Cartierville City Councillor
- Robert Beaudry: Economic development and intergovernmental relations. Ville Marie City Councillor
- Rosannie Filato: Social and community development, homelessness, youth and sports. Villeray St. Michel Park Extension City Councillor
- Francois Croteau: Technology and innovation. Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough Mayor
- Laurence Lavigne: Transparency, democracy and governance. Mercier Hochelaga Maisonneuve City Councillor
- Jean-Francois Parenteau: Citizens' services and environment. Verdun borough Mayor
Ferrandez said his priority will be preserving some of Montreal's biggest green spaces, naming Lafontaine and Mont-Royal parks in particular.
"They're not parks, they're cultural artifacts," he said. "They're great assets for Montreal. They need a lot of thinking, profound expertise and lots of love. That's what I'm going to give."
Plante also named several associate councillors who are not full members of the executive committee but will advise her on a range of topics. They are:
- Sophie Mauzerolle. Ville Marie borough City Councillor
- Alex Norris (public security). Plateau Mont Royal City Councillor
- Marianne Giguere Plateau Mont Royal City Councillor (sustainable development, active transport)
- Craig Sauvé. Southwest CIty Councillor (mobility, citizens' services)
- Suzie Miron. Mercier Hochelaga Maisonneuve City Councillor (infrastructure)
Not everyone was thrilled with Plante's choices. City councillor Lionel Perez, who served as a member of Denis Coderre's committee, called it "a lost opportunity" to add experience as well as ethnic and linguistic minorities.
"She mentioned during the campaign she would look at members of the opposition to try and integrate them because they have experience and knowledge. She decided not to do that," he said. "She decided to try and put as a condition to be part of the executive committee, to leave the political party with which they were elected less than two weeks ago."
Of the members named, all ran as part of Plante's Projet Montreal party with the exception of Parenteau, who was a part of Equipe Denis Coderre, but was told if he left that party he could be on the executive committee.
Perez said six other members of Equipe Denis Coderre refused invitations to join the committee due to not wanting to leave the party.
"You're looking at a lack of depth, a lot of people who have never been in politics being given very important portfolios," said Perez. "We have people who had portfolios that are relegated to subsidiary roles. It's not a very good indication from the get-go."
The first executive committee meeting of Plante's regime will be on Wednesday.