Quebec municipal election results: Valérie Plante wins 2nd term as Montreal mayor

Click to play video: '‘We will continue to be team of all Montrealers’: Valérie Plante speaks after re-election as mayor'
‘We will continue to be team of all Montrealers’: Valérie Plante speaks after re-election as mayor
WATCH: Valérie Plante speaks after re-election as mayor – Nov 7, 2021

Projet Montreal’s Valérie Plante has again emerged victorious for the city’s top job.

Plante took an early lead straight out of the gate and ended up rolling to a second term as mayor. By 9:30 p.m., her lead over main competitor, Ensemble Montréal’s Denis Coderre, had surpassed 11,000 votes — good enough for Global News to project her the winner.

Plante declared herself the night’s winner in a Tweet around the same time, in which she thanked Montrealers.

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Quebec Premier François Legault also took to social media to congratulate Plante on her win.

“We will continue to collaborate on issues affecting the city,” he wrote.

When Plante arrived at party headquarters at the Imperial Theatre for her victory speech, supporters erupted in raucous applause.

She thanked Montrealers for not only electing the first female mayor in the city’s history when she won in 2017, but for saying yes to a second mandate, thus renewing their faith in her.

Plante wasted no time in making history again — announcing that Dominique Ollivier would be the city’s executive committee chair, marking the first time two women lead the city.

The executive committee is a decision-making body composed of municipal elected officials, including the mayor, a chair and two vice chairs. The committee is responsible for awarding contracts and drawing up the budget, among other things.

By 11:30 p.m. with most polls finished reporting, Plante had won over 52 per cent of the vote, Coderre was in second place with 37 per cent, while newcomer Balarama Holness of Mouvement Montréal trailed in a distant third with just over 7 per cent of the vote.

Plante campaigned on adding more social housing, fighting climate change and improving public security, to name a few of her priorities.

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Traffic and the need to offer better public transit options were also front and centre with Plante’s reelection bid, as she touted the progress made on plans to extend the Blue metro line and the creation of more priority bus lanes.

Plante also reintroduced the notion of a pink line transit project, which had been a main campaign promise in 2017. The revamped project would run from Lachine through downtown to Montreal North.

Sunday night, Plante reiterated her commitment to stand by the party’s vision and values.

“We will work hard every day to really improve the quality of life of everyone on the island,” she said to the party faithful.

She also had a message to those who had voted for other candidates.

“I will be the mayor of all Montrealers …. we are stretching out our hand and together we will build the Montreal of today and of tomorrow,” she said.

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As the incumbent, Plante fought off numerous attacks from her competitors while on the campaign trail.

Coderre, who was hoping to make a comeback, deplored how the city was dirtier and less safe than when he left office in 2017. He emphasized the need to boost police ranks by hiring 250 more officers to combat gun violence in the city.

Meanwhile, Holness of Mouvement Montréal tried to position his party as a viable third option for the city — promising a new way of doing things.

His campaign focused largely on a message of unity and defunding the police in favour of strengthening community organizations.

He also positioned himself as the defender of Anglo rights in Montreal and vowed to fight the province’s language reform bill, which aims to protect and strengthen the French language in Quebec.

In his concession speech, Holness applauded the work of Mouvement Montréal candidates, commending them for sticking to party values and principles.

“We were very clear that we want to build a city, a community that we can all call home,” he said, adding that cities are not built overnight. “Mouvement Montréal is here to stay, we are just getting started.”

Click to play video: 'Balarama Holness applauds candidates, says ‘Mouvement Montreal is here to stay’'
Balarama Holness applauds candidates, says ‘Mouvement Montreal is here to stay’

Coderre, for his part, was feeling the pain of a stinging defeat.

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“It’s obviously a great disappointment for myself and for our team but the results show it was a difficult choice for thousands of electors,” he said.

Coderre congratulated Plante on her victory, but pointed to challenges ahead. He said Plante will have to work to reposition the city as a vibrant metropolis. He also extended congratulations to Holness for his hard fought campaign.

Despite his loss, Coderre said he was pleased with the ideas he put forward.

Click to play video: '‘The result is clear’: Denis Coderre remarks on Montreal mayoral election loss'
‘The result is clear’: Denis Coderre remarks on Montreal mayoral election loss

Plante’s first mandate was in large part shaped by the pandemic, hitting just over midway through her four-year term.

She is now tasked, alongside city council, with leading the city out of the health crisis as it strives to recover.

City council, which is the primary decision-making body, is made up of 65 elected officials. This includes the mayor of the city, who automatically serves as the mayor of Ville-Marie, 18 borough mayors and 46 city councillors.

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The Island of Montreal is divided into 15 municipalities and the City of Montreal, which has 19 boroughs.

Coderre has not yet said if he will stay on to lead the opposition at City Hall.

— With files from Global News’ Gloria Henriquez, Elizabeth Zogalis  and The Canadian Press


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