CBC Montreal's Daybreak was joined by the three mayoral candidates for the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough on Thursday.
Incumbent mayor Luc Ferrandez, Coalition Montréal's Daniele Lorain and Équipe Denis Coderre's Gilbert Thibodeau sat down with Mike Finnerty at Café Olimpico for a lively debate on the key issues.
Q: What do you think of the incumbent mayor’s traffic calming measures?
Lorain: "I think it’s a total failure. On some streets it’s true that it’s calm, but on other streets it’s 200 per cent bad and dangerous because many cars are going on those streets and they're local and narrow streets that are not used to that huge traffic. We have to revisit this plan."
Ferrandez: "Well obviously there are flaws. You don’t correct the circulation for a borough the size of the Plateau-Mont-Royal, just next to downtown, in one shot.
We’ve been listening to the people. We’ve had public hearings. I can assure people that the objective is to calm the traffic on residential streets. It is not normal that you have 2,000 cars passing by a school. Any borough would try to correct that."
Thibodeau: "Calming a street is not blocking a street. You have to consult, resolve the problem after. We need somebody who will think about the commercial area instead of doing something and then four years after saying we made a few mistakes we’re gonna change it."
Q: How would you address/improve snow removal without adding debt if you were mayor?
Thibodeau: "For security all the streets need to be cleaned as fast as possible."
Lorain: "It’s terrible to have elderly people and disabled people with mobility challenges trapped in their homes because they can’t go out. We’re going to address the problem and do the snow removal properly."
Ferrandez: "Something people have to understand is removing snow on the Plateau costs four times more than in Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, for example, because of the number of cars, because the streets are narrow, etc.
Before taking the decision to take out the snow, we sit down with engineers to look at the weather, to look at how the cars are parked, the size of the snow banks, etc. and we make the decision."
Q: Luc Ferrandez, a lot of people think your leadership style is too abrasive, do you agree?
Ferrandez: "It’s a media image related to the kind of decisions I’ve made. It’s impossible to be a mayor and to be abrasive every day. You have to negotiate every day with everybody."
Lorain: "I don’t think I’ll be as abrasive as Mr. Ferrandez. We’ll establish monthly meetings and consultations."
Thibodeau: "I will consult with people, but at the end somebody has to make a decision and I will for the good of everybody in the area."