There’s no honeymoon phase for re-elected mayor Valérie Plante. Montreal’s mayor is wasting no time in her second mandate, laying out concrete steps her party Projet Montréal intends to take in its first 100 days of government.
The Projet Montréal leader had a decisive win on Sunday night. Plante earned 52 per cent of the vote and her party has a majority in the city council.
“The fact that Montrealers chose me again with a big, big number, right, it’s a great victory,” said Plante. “I don’t want to disappoint, but I want to make sure that they feel like I represent them all.”
Plante held the first press conference of her second mandate on Monday morning with elected members outside the Habitations Jeanne-Mance public housing project — the first of its kind in Montreal and the second in Canada.
“Housing is huge and not only is it for the next four years, but also in our first 100 days,” she said.
Plante said her administration will introduce a mandatory rent registry to prevent unfair rent increases and limit renovictions.
“The weakness of this plan is truly that the rent registry is not for all units in Montreal,” said Catherine Lussier, a community organizer for The Front d’Action Populaire en Réaménagement Urbain (FRAPRU).
She added that the rent registry is only for buildings with eight units and more.
Plante’s other priorities in the first 100 days include the ecological transition, relaunching the economy, and working to increase public safety.
“We will hire more police officers, but also double the financial resources for community groups. Because they are, they are also part of the solution in terms of violence prevention,” said Plante.
According to Élections Montréal, voter turnout was 38 four per cent, down from 42 per cent in the last municipal election in 2017.
Apathy is Boring executive director Samantha Reusch said she believes the “decision that was taken at some point by Élections Montréal to move the registration deadline to three weeks prior to the election,” is having a much larger impact than was anticipated.
“I’d be willing to bet a lot of people found out after that deadline that they were not registered, that they were unable to vote and that there was nothing that they could do about it after that point.”
Reusch told Global News to increase voter turnout, there needs to be fewer barriers to get to the ballot box.
“I think really crucially, there needs to be a really hard look at some of the policies around registration and access to polling stations,” she said.
Plante told reporters she takes voter turnout “seriously” adding she always wants to see a larger turnout especially after a campaign push but thinks COVID is still playing a role.
“People are still in dealing with COVID in different ways. So that would be my kind of first interpretation,” she explained.
Regardless, she said her party is full steam ahead already close to completing the 2022 budget, aiming to balance it.