May 24, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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New Valerie Plante | Tap

The toughest end of the year for Project Montreal

Much has been said about the “new” Denise Codre. But strangely enough, no one asked the “new” Valerie Plante question.

Because, remarkably, no prominent politician can step out of a four-year term without a major transformation.

From the man who was looking for her bearings by settling in the mayor’s chair in November 2017, there are no more remnants. Valerie Plante is the mayor today, she shows great confidence and has a good knowledge of her files. This is one of its strengths.

Although she managed to escape in some respects during press briefings, she never seemed alert. One thing is for sure, when she does not have all the keys to the file, she does not try to throw unnecessary dust in her eyes.

The Plante Administration (my first) was criticized for conducting bogus consultations to achieve its goals. Remember the polls conducted on the web with questions that reduce nuance.

The mayor realized that there was no need to participate in this game with citizens.

Similarly, she understood the need to regularize some elected members of her party who sometimes wanted to be kinglets in their district. She was accused of concentrating the decisions and powers around her.

It met with criticism from some elected officials and some of them (Kristin Gosselin, Christian Arsenal) faced the crisis marked by the exit.

Project Montreal has many strong heads in its ranks, they came with the intention to change things and do it quickly. Valerie Plante made it clear that many citizens were not ready for this “revolution”. She must have moderated the enthusiasm of those in a hurry.

Valerie Plante was elected on the basis of 474 promises. These mainly revolve around improving mobility, boosting the economy, protecting cyclists and pedestrians and keeping families.

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Her first decisions strengthened those who voted for her: the abolition of horse-drawn carriages in the Old Montreal, the termination of the Formula E contract, and the rebuilding of Saint-Catherine.

Then came winter. And snow. And ice cream.

Three months after Valerie Plante came to power, Tap Ipsos has released a poll showing that the honeymoon is already over. The majority of respondents (59%) said they were dissatisfied with its management.

The tax hike imposed in its first budget (when it promised not to exceed inflation) and the quality of snow removal are damaging its image.

Valerie Plante suddenly found that enticing citizens is one thing, but meeting their expectations, the most basic is another.

Myers had to learn to look after his relationships with Montreal Inc. He turned away when he arrived. She found that the Montreal Police Brotherhood had a murderous and immediate response.

The only way to wall Ottawa and Quebec is to justify delays in certain files, such as social change. Denise Coder is constantly criticizing him.

Valerie Plante has not changed the way she addresses journalists and citizens. She did not change her appearance. She has the same tone, the same laughter, the same way she starts her sentences with “I want to tell you”. But she has learned to become a true politician.

Do not see this as a negative judgment. Being a politician means learning how to put water in your wine, being able to listen to citizens who do well without it, and sometimes working with a just, sometimes vengeful opposition.

There are exceptions in his party, with serious criticism from the opposition and the press. Valerie Plante, who faced these storms, could turn a deaf ear and try to impose her ideology. She may have lost her DNA diversely and completely.

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She loved to navigate and move forward, which has made many Montrealists today say: “She is not perfect, she makes decisions I do not approve of, but I want to vote for her anyway. ”

I have been listening a lot for the past few weeks.

If Valerie Plante is re-elected, she will face stronger and more critical opposition than she has in the past four years. I was convinced of it.

His next word, if one, will not be a long smooth ride.

I am further to the left of the wings of his party, which I refer to as one of its elected officials and its shadow activists.

While Project Montreal leaders enjoy support that borders on devotion to its activists, many of them think the party has lost its bite, especially in attacking serious issues such as social housing and the homeless. The fight against climate change.

These voices, I have been listening to them for a few months. They agree with Jonathan Durand Folko, an assistant professor at the School of Social Innovation at St. Paul’s University, that he “wants a critical voice alongside Project Montreal”.

“Project Montreal has an environmental, inclusion and social justice orientation. But it is a party that can go a long way. He has ruled at the center to find compromises and let go of various forces,” he told me.

Like Luke Ferrandez, the former mayor of the Plateau-Mont-Royal, Jonathan Durand Folco is one of Project Montreal supporters who believe Project Montreal has not done enough environmentally.

Many of us thought of Project Montreal as the most left-wing party known to Montreal, but now movements and networks (such as the Wagcologiste au municipality) are showing us that it is not the right thing to do.

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Will Valerie Plante, in the event of a re-election, continue to live up to the expectations of these activists and satisfy the rest of Montreals?

Only the “new” Valerie Plant knows that.

CCMM talk

The discussion hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) was polite, but provided some crisp moments.

The most complete passage: Valerie Plante replies to Denise Codre about the “communication problem” he mentioned to explain the failure of the Formula E race. The mayor genius clearly recalled the report of the Bureau of Inspector Generals who reported on politics. Interference.

The most colorful passage: Denise Codrey talking about the Mobility Squad set up by the Plante administration. “Yes, we have the Mobility Squad, but it’s stuck in traffic.”

The most surprising passage: Two candidates failed to live up to their promises.

Where is Denise Coder?

Over the past few days, Denise Coder has liked to repeat that the Planti administration is “not three and a half years old” and wakes up “a few months” before the election. He made these comments when he spoke about the plight of downtown traders and repeated them Monday evening during the CCMM debate.

These remarks come as a surprise to the man who has refused to occupy the Leader of the Opposition (he could replace his colleague Chantal Rosie) for the past four years.