Valérie Plante promises to move Formula E race out of downtown
Mayor-elect says goal is to hold race at Gilles Villeneuve racetrack; renews Expos stadium referedum promise
In her second appearance on the popular Radio-Canada talk show Tout le monde en parle, Montreal's mayor-elect Valérie Plante was steadfast in her promise to move the Formula E car race out of the downtown area.
"[The goal] is really to repatriate the race to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve," she said on Sunday night's show.
It was less than a month ago that Plante and former mayor Denis Coderre sparred over the race's success and Coderre's initial withholding of ticket sales.
The organizer, Montréal, c'est électrique, released the numbers shortly before last Sunday's municipal election. Of the 45,000 people who attended the publicly financed race, 20,000 tickets — more than 40 per cent — were given away for free.
Plante, who will be sworn in on Thursday, said other cities had used existing race circuits to host the Formula E but did not name any.
"I was elected in Ville-Marie, so I experienced up close the race and its inconveniences, its impacts, which were very difficult for residents and business owners," said Plante, who was a city councillor for the district the race was held in.
She said the city would have to look into upgrades to the racetrack on Île Notre-Dame in order to hold the electric car race, but that "for me, it's definitely a commitment."
- Countdown to victory: 72 hours with Valérie Plante
- After historic win, Valérie Plante says she's ready to work
Plante traded in the casual leather jacket and white T-shirt she was wearing in her first appearance on the show last month for a plum dress with a bow on the collar last night.
'I want the return of the Expos'
As for a new baseball stadium, Plante said she's making a pledge to continue whatever negotiations the past administration had begun, which were mainly behind closed doors, she noted.
But, ultimately, Plante says she's maintaining her position that it should be up to Montrealers to decide how to spend their money.
"If they tell me, yes, I will respect that decision," she said, adding she'd provide the pros and cons without taking sides.
"I want the return of the Expos," Plante said. "I like baseball.... I'm more of a soccer girl, I'm more Impact, but I mean, I like baseball."
"What about the Canadiens!" said TLMEP's co-host Dany Turcotte.
"In fact, the Canadiens haven't lost since I was elected," Plante replied to laughs from the audience and fellow guests.