On May 5, Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, spoke before the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal for the first time since her re-election.
She took the opportunity to present the major areas of focus for her second mandate and share her vision for the city’s future.
Housing central to Montréal’s challenges
By way of introduction, the Mayor reiterated the importance of affordable housing for Montrealers. Despite an outstanding recovery across Canada and North America, Montréal is suffering the consequences of inflation and its impact on the real estate market.
Valérie Plante outlined the orientations of her strategy to deal with this critical issue and reiterated the importance of a generalized mobilization.
“The Ville de Montréal will offer solutions, with the upcoming construction of 60,000 affordable housing units. We need the entire community to tackle this challenge. We understand the interests of the developers and hope to have a dialogue. Our facilitating unit will provide better coordination.” – Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal
She also described development projects under way to relieve pressure on the housing offer.
“With the Molson project, we increased density and created living spaces. We want to bank on emerging areas, such as Lachine or along the extension of the blue line. In this area alone, we are counting on 13,000 new housing units.”
Accelerating the city’s green transition
Valérie Plante reminded attendees that ecology is central to her political vision. She pointed to commitments made by private actors to accelerate the energy transition.
“Commitments have been made, particularly for the construction of carbon neutral buildings. I also welcome Ivanhoé Cambridge’s announcement about a massive reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions downtown.”
She then presented one of the major objectives of her mandate: greening downtown.
“The Ville de Montréal has invested $1 billion in downtown. We wanted to make downtown the greenest in North America. We are working on attractiveness to develop projects in line with the Ville de Montréal’s goals and residents’ hopes.”
The Ville de Montréal facing the challenges of the day
After the change in governance for the REM de l’Est project, the Mayor reassured the business community about the way the project will be run.
“The REM de l’Est is an essential, vital project. More public transit means more businesses and services. We saved the project, and we are confident that the current governance will see it through”
Valérie Plante also addressed sluggish administrative processes and her plans to solve the problem.
“We are already starting to develop solutions for administrative processes. With our new Direction générale administrative au développement économique et durable (sustainable economic development administrative branch), we want to be more agile, more efficient, faster. The objective is to facilitate communication and coordination between departments.”
The Mayor also spoke about the challenge of managing construction sites as more activities resume downtown and with peak tourist season approaching.
“Only 25% of work is done by the Ville de Montréal. Two areas will remain under pressure during the summer: Champ-de-Mars and Berri-UQAM. The work is inconvenient, but necessary. We are consulting, but often we are catching up on construction sites that should have been started a long time ago.”