Montreal mayor disappointed by lack of social housing investments in Quebec budget
MONTREAL -- Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante expressed disappointment over some aspects of Quebec's 2020-2021 budget Tuesday, saying important demands from her wish list were not fulfilled.
"To achieve the changes we must undertake, the city cannot act alone. We need the help of the population but, we also need the help of the higher levels of government," she stated.
The mayor had asked for increased funding in three main areas: mobility, ecological transition and social housing.
Though she notes she's happy with the provincial government's commitment to greener initiatives to fight climate change, she bemoans the lack of investments in affordable housing.
"You will understand our disappointment in seeing that for a second year in a row, the government is not investing any money in the construction of new social housing projects," she said. "Clearly, the $150 million for the backlog announced for all of Quebec in [the] budget is not sufficient to provide the roof over the heads of all Montrealers who need it."
The housing expectation in Montreal, she insists, is high because the need for greater investments is crucial.
"Currently, 23,000 households are waiting for social housing, while thousands of others are looking for housing large enough to accommodate them, or at a price they can afford," Plante points out. "This is a fundamental right to have a roof over your head."
All the same, Plante applauds the Quebec government for answering her call to invest in public transit across the province, including the Montreal Metro's pink line and a tramway on Notre-Dame Street in the east end.
"A lot of people thought the pink line, whatsoever, would not happen. I was able to work it out and convince the government to invest in the pink line," Plante said, adding she still plans to find ways to ease public transit in Montreal's east end. "I'm fighting for mobility and I've shown that I was able to secure half of the pink line and I will continue to do so because we do need to find solutions."
Plante adds the city is still waiting for a bilateral housing agreement to be reached between Quebec and Ottawa.