November 16, 2017 11:03 am
Updated: November 17, 2017 10:21 am

Valérie Plante sworn in as Montreal’s first female mayor

Valerie Plante signs the golden book (le livre d'or) and is officially declared mayor of Montreal Thursday afternoon in a ceremony at Marché Bonsecours.

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Valérie Plante, Montreal’s first female mayor, was sworn in Thursday at a ceremony at Marché Bonsecours in Montreal’s Old Port.

READ MORE: Valérie Plante elected first female mayor of Montreal

The ceremony started with a performance by the Buffalo Hat Singers, chanting a song “in honour of women.”

The councillors and mayors of the city’s boroughs were then brought on stage as the audience cheered loudly.

WATCH BELOW: Montreal’s elected officials swear oath of office

Plante followed, welcomed by a standing ovation as she entered the room and joined her colleagues.

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In her first speech as mayor, Plante brought up public transit — one of the main issues she campaigned on.

“I know what you’re all living, because I live it too,” she said.

WATCH BELOW: Valérie Plante delivers first speech as Montreal’s mayor 

“The window of opportunity is there [to improve transit]. We will make it happen. It’s my mission and we will work hard to make it happen.”

READ MORE: Denis Coderre ‘quitting political life’ after losing Montreal mayoral race to Valérie Plante

Plante also reiterated her promise to improve housing and public services across the island.

WATCH BELOW: Valérie Plante: ‘I’m the happy warrior’

“You may not know it yet, but I’m a fighter. For those who do not know me, my nickname is the ‘happy warrior,'” she said, laughing.

“I may have a new role as mayor, but I will fight for you.”

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The 43-year-old mother of two caused a major surprise when she won more than 51 per cent of the vote on Nov. 5 to defeat incumbent Denis Coderre.

Plante, who was born in Rouyn-Noranda in northwestern Quebec, spent a year as a teenager in North Bay, Ont., to learn English.

READ MORE: Meet Projet Montréal mayoral candidate Valérie Plante

She moved to Montreal at the age of 19 and attended university, where she received degrees in anthropology and museology.

WATCH BELOW: Valérie Plante is Montreal’s first female mayor

She then worked for a number of non-profit organizations.

Plante entered municipal politics in 2013 when she won a council seat and she was elected leader of the left-leaning party Projet Montréal three years later.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca

— with files from The Canadian Press.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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