Cathy Wong, the first woman to be named Speaker of Montreal’s city council, announced Tuesday that she will sit as an independent councillor, effective immediately.
She says she is leaving Ensemble Montréal — the party of former mayor Denis Coderre, previously known as Équipe Denis Coderre — in order to stay impartial in her role.
“I decided to become an independent councillor so I can work more effectively with the borough of Ville-Marie on issues that are particularly important to me,” Wong said.
She notes that one of her priorities is to focus on the Peter-McGill Centre, which will include a public library and cultural spaces and is scheduled to open in 2023 on the site of the former Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Wong was first elected in November 2017 in the Peter-McGill district and is the first opposition party member to sit as the council’s chair.
“My priorities also include plans to have new primary schools and improve green spaces in Peter-McGill, as they help make the downtown area a more friendly place for families and newcomers,” she added.
Before being elected, Wong was president of the Conseil des Montréalaises and a columnist for Le Devoir and Radio-Canada.