Valérie Plante makes her pitch to Parc-Extension families
Valérie Plante along with borough mayoral candidate Laurence Lavigne Lalonde made another electoral pitch to Parc-Extension residents and families at the William-Hingston Center last Thursday morning.
The press conference was held on the west side promenade and was centred around services to families and the affordability of raising children in Montreal.
Projet Montréal announced several measures that they say would help Montreal families with young children save money and better access important services like public transit, cultural facilities and daycare.
The incumbent mayor promised that she would work towards building more Centres de la petite enfance (CPE) daycare centers across Montreal, but especially in Parc-Extension where there are currently only two. “We’re in Parc-Extension and there aren’t a lot of CPEs here,” said Plante, adding that “it’s not sufficient.”
Plante added that this would be achieved by reserving spaces in housing developments being built by the city. They would nonetheless have to be built by the provincial government as CPEs are their jurisdiction.
The announcement was made in front of the CPE the William-Hingston Centre which is set for eviction in December of 2021 along with many other community organizations as the building will be undergoing major renovations. Plante did not address the issue during the press conference.
“We have large families in Parc-Extension and Saint-Michel, more so than in the rest of Montreal, families of 3 kids or more, so this measure will support the families of the borough,” added borough mayor hopeful Laurence Lavigne Lalonde.
In an interview with The Montreal Gazette, interim coordinator at Comité d’Action de Parc-Extension (CAPE) Amy Darwish said the situation at William-Hingston was a “very classic renoviction scenario.”
“They’re not telling us how long the repairs are going to take; they’re not telling us if and when we can come back,” the interview continued.
“If the Plante administration is interested in supporting Parc-Extension families, it would be interesting to hear what their plan is around the William Hingston Centre. Are they planning on supporting community groups to find another community centre that is central, accessible?” added Darwish.
Projet Montreal also announced it will be halving the price of public transit passes for teens as of Oct. 1. This now brings the monthly STM pass for 12 to 17 year-olds from $54 down to $27 per month.
Plante hopes that this will help families with multiple children using public transit to save more money and subsequently reinject it into the economy. She added that it would account for total savings of $648 per year, for two children.
“We really want to encourage young people to keep using public transit,” added Plante as a long-term objective.
Montrealers under 18 will also be seeing better access to cultural facilities with the announcement guaranteeing free access to the city’s museums and Montreal’s Espace pour la vie, including the Biodôme, the Planetarium, the Biosphère, the Botanical Gardens and the Insectarium.
“We want to increase the possibility of activities for families from all social classes and especially those from less fortunate families,” added Plante on the proposition.
Both Plante and Lalonde said the measures would help families in areas like Parc-Extension save money and have better access to various services. “They will improve the quality of life and the purchasing power of Montreal families,” Plante concluded.