Just one day before her official inauguration as Montreal’s mayor, Valérie Plante chose to pay a visit to one of Montreal’s landmark charitable organizations, Sun Youth. She thanked volunteers for their contributions and responded to reporters about recent skits mocking her infamous laughter.
“I think it’s very funny, you gotta be able to laugh at yourself,” Plante said about a recent parody by Quebec comedian Marc Labrèche. “I invite people who want to reduce me to a smile or a laugh to see how I became mayor of Montreal it’s not just because of a smile it’s because I know where I’m going I’m well surrounded, I’m qualified.”
But there was little convincing to do at Sun Youth’s headquarters. The mayor-elect met with dozens of volunteers and workers, thanking each and every one of them for their valuable contribution to society. Plante even helped fill some bags of food for people in need, as Sun Youth gears up for its annual Christmas basket campaign that benefits an estimated 4,000 families every year.
“I’m very happy she took the time despite her busy schedule and came down to pay a visit to Sun Youth,” Sun Youth’s co-founder Sid Stevens said. “I’ve worked with eight mayors and I’ll be only too pleased to work with the ninth one who happens to be a mairesse.”
After a warm welcome from Stevens, Plante got a tour of the building and little lesson in history charity’s programs and services.
Many of the volunteers were more than thrilled to meet Montreal’s first female mayor.
“It’s very powerful, very empowering thing to finally have a woman in power, it’s advancing we’re going in the right direction,” Sun Youth worker Denise Rivard said.
“It’s very cool,” said Sun Youth’s sports and recreation director Kara De La Perralle. “I hope she has a great four years and continues on after that.”
Valerie Plante spoke to reporters about her priorities once she takes office, including building a strong and balanced executive committee.
“First of all there has to be parity this is something that’s a strong promise and I will honour it,” said Plante, adding that
she hasn’t ruled out including members of the opposition, “only if it makes sense.”
Plante and all newly elected officials will be sworn in on Thursday at Marché Bonsecours, marking the beginning of a new era at the City of Montreal.
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