Valérie Plante, "the man" for the mayor's job?

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Valérie Plante, "the man" for the mayor's job?

One of Projet Montréal mayoral candidate's recent ads calls her "l'homme de la situation". The controversy was deliberate. In French, expressions such as "J'vais mettre un homme là-dessus" don't really have a feminine equivalent.

Getting to know Valérie Plante:

Actually, she is every bit as committed to public and active transport as Richard Bergeron was; she is simply a far less rigid personality type.


I'll be voting for Plante, mainly because I prefer infrastructure investment to Coderre's government which is entirely focused on spectacle. I don't care about the 3 and 3/4 centennial celebration and it doesn't warrant a billion dollars of wasted money, I don't care about F1 and I don't care about the Expos and don't think the city should be spend at least half a billion on the new stadium that we'll never get back in "economic spinoffs".

A new metro line is expensive, but at least we'll get a new metro line out of it.

Thing is while I hope she'll win and will definitely be voting for her, I don't predict a win for her right now and I say this as a member of Projet. She knows she needs the suburbs to win, but the pink line won't be enough to do it. By Plante's own estimates the pink line would be done hopefully by the 400th anniversary in 2042, people don't vote based on what you'll do for them in 25 years. Its an excellent aspirational goal, but not a project to base a plank of your platform on.

If I were running as or advising a city council candidate for Projet where I live in Riviere des Prairies I would definitely emphasize the Pink line, but what is more important is emphasizing better bus service and road repairs. This is standard fare I understand, but the bus service remains terrible in RDP and the Union Montreal/Coderre people are very vulnerable on that file. Talk about specific bus lines that need more service (ie. 448 that runs after 9:45am for example) and suggest new express bus lines that connect RDP to metro stations that aren't Radisson, ideally one going to a blue line station and another to a orange line station.


Better bus routes are certainly needed, but they are utterly insufficient to diminish the traffic - and public transport - snarl. The orange line southbound is saturated by métro Jarry, since the extension to Laval. The extension was an excellent thing, but we need another route. I think a diagonal "pink" line is genius, ESPECIALLY for people in northeastern Montréal. Many do long commutes, especially recent immigrants without much money.

I also agree with bringing back trams, for example on avenue du Parc because the orange line is utterly saturated. There has been an important enhancement of the 55 St-Laurent bus; now it goes all the way from the Palais de justice in Old Montréal to Henri-Bourassa in the north end (Ahuntsic).

Unfortunately, RDP is an example of bad, sprawly planning that should never have been accepted in that form so recently. I think I've only been their once, giving a talk on immigration and labour history at the local library. Took me about 2 hours! Longer than it takes to get to Ottawa...

I have a couple of clients in Laval, and I can get there very quickly via the orange line, and I'm travelling against the rush. Friends teaching up there find it easier than getting downtown (from the Jean-Talon métro area).

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..if i lived there i would vote for her. lip service is aplenty while commitment to transit is surprisingly rare. 


I hope that Plante wins, but a story from the Gazette today pretty much sums up what I think will happen.

Plante will do well in the parts of the city that the media and politicians care about, but she'll be absolutely trounced where the forgotten Montrealers live and as a result she'll lose (Coderre will win in the same was Rob Ford did in Toronto). I'm thinking that Coderre will lose seats in City Council and not have a majority and Projet will gain, but he'll stay mayor.

Who are these forgotten Montrealers? The suburbs in the east end.

Anjou, Montreal North, RDP-PAT and Saint Leonard.

Without the vote splitting from Vrai Changement and Coalition, Coderre has a good chance of getting between 60-80% in these boroughs.

Projet will also gain large majorities in Rosemont and the Plateau, but other than those two there are no real strongholds.


Apparently Jean Fortier who is running for Coalition Montreal will drop out of the race tomorrow and endorse Valerie Plante. The 5% that Fortier would've likely siphoned off could actually make the difference in the final result, so good on him. Good news for Projet Montreal.


Pietro, that is very strange, as Valérie Plante's pink line would benefit above all those northeastern former suburbs. I taught second languages to people at a business in Mtl-Nord and could see the painful commutes so many people (especially recent immigrant workers) had to do daily. Just one station east on the blue line would have made a huge difference to people in that area due to the connections at Pie-IX, but nothing has been done after 30 years. That could have also involved a major "urbanizing" effort in the area involving little Centre Boulevard, the Maxi, Winners and other businesses, with more housing and somewhat less area devoted to parking. The green line could also push to PAT in the southeast.



pietro_bcc wrote:


That entire opinion piece rests on a couple of interviews with some old people. I'm not saying it's wrong, but no evidence was offered. It ends with this:

But there may be an unexpected X factor that attracts even some stalwart Coderre supporters to Plante.

Back in Montreal North, Maryse Latour emerged from the kitchen of Alimentation des Caraïbes where she was preparing Haitian food for a hot lunch buffet. Even though she likes Coderre and thinks he’s doing “a pretty good job,” she doesn’t plan to vote for him this time. 

“I’m voting for the girl,” said Latour, 69, with a wry smile. “I want to give a girl a turn.

“The vision of a woman is not the same as the vision of a man. … I don’t know what she’s going to bring, but I’m willing to give her a shot.”

A lot of people are sick of the corruption and all the mayors going to jail. Coderre is not transparent. There is no evidence that he has cleaned up city hall. It is quite possible that people will vote for change.

The 2015 numbers don't mean much because Luc Ferrandez was running. Valerie Plante is very different and another 4 years have past. I think Coderre will win but I think it will be with much lower numbers and it is possible for Plante to win.




Ferrandez was demonised because he was the first to push through traffic-calming and initiatives in favour of cycling, walking and public transport. He also made a few absolutely stupid mistakes such as cutting back on snow clearance - you can't have a pedestrian-friendly city in a northern climate without good snow clearance.  Projet Montréal has done pretty much the same in my borough (just northeast of the Plateau) and has not made the stupid snow clearance error.

He has done a lot of very good things in terms of greening and promoting small local businesses. The horrible errors in road upgrading on St-Laurent, Parc and St-Denis were caused by the city centre, not a borough.