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Make the Champlain bridge a campaign issue say Montreal leaders

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre speaks at a news conference Thursday, March 20, 2014. Tim Sargeant, Global News

MONTREAL – As the first Quebec election debate is set to kick off, the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) is asking provincial party leaders to take a stance on new Champlain Bridge tolls.

The Montreal Metropolitan Community, an organization that oversees 82 cities and towns of greater Montreal, wants to shine a light on transit issues.

It does not want tolls for the new bridge, but would like a guarantee of a light-rail mass-transit system. It also wants to see new mitigation plans put in place to deal with traffic congestion during repair work on the bridge and other Transports Quebec infrastructure projects.

MMC leader, Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, outlined these demands during a press conference Thursday, which came on the heels of other requests made by Coderre and Quebec City mayor Régis Labeaume.

Watch: Quebec mayors want independence

The two cities would also like official special status recognition from the Quebec government, granting Montreal and Quebec City new powers.

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The two mayors insisted that special status would mean greater control over financing and decision making.

Labeaume argued that under the current structure, government bureaucrats have more power over cities than local mayors.

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