Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says voters in the city clearly voted for "change" in last night's federal election, which saw the Liberals take 40 seats in Quebec and win a big majority in the House of Commons.
"We now have a government that respects Montreal and respects Montrealers," Coderre, a former Liberal MP and cabinet minister, told a news conference this afternoon.
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Coderre said he's hopeful the dispute over his city's plan to dump raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River will be quickly resolved by the Liberals.
He said he's still waiting for Environment Canada to approve the proposal, but he's confident the new government will handle the situation more fairly than its predecessor did, after the Conservatives put the plan on hold the week before the election.
"We had a government who tried to play politics on Montrealers' backs," he said.
"We want to have a government that wants to be part of the solution, not part of the problem."
During the election campaign, Coderre offered up a lengthy, $2-billion wish list to the federal parties that included increased funding for social housing, public transit and insfrastructure.
Coderre reiterated many of the same priorities at the news conference alongside Magdalen Islands Mayor Jonathan Lapierre.
Jonathan Lapierre, mayor of the Magdalen Islands, says a Liberal govt = good news for the ''municipal world". Says there's much work to do— @salimah_shivji
Coderre said he wants to make sure the Liberal government makes the following issues a priority:
- Montreal's continued rejection of tolls on the new Champlain Bridge and the end of door-to-door mail delivery.
- Federal funding for Montreal's 375th anniversary, including the lighting of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.
- Supervised safe injection sites — Coderre asked the federal government to uphold the Supreme Court's decision in the matter and grant exemptions so that Montreal can establish such sites.
- Reinvestment in Radio-Canada, which is headquartered in downtown Montreal.