Plante in, Coderre out: Montrealers react to their new mayor
Valérie Plante is the first woman to be elected mayor of Montreal in the city's 375 years
After a tight race for the mayor's seat, Valérie Plante has swooped into power as the first woman to win a municipal election in Montreal's 375 years of existence.
Beating out former mayor Denis Coderre, Plante, 43, swayed voters with a platform that focused on reducing traffic, improving public transit, and making the city more family friendly.
Only 42.4 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot, compared to 44 per cent in the last election, according to Election Montreal.
The day after the election, Montrealers are reacting to Coderre's loss and their brand-new mayor's win.
- Read our profile of Valérie Plante's charge for City Hall
- ANALYSIS | For Valérie Plante, pulling off the greatest political upset in 50 years was easy. Now comes the hard part
'The people wanted a change'
Four years under Coderre's leadership left some Montrealers hungry for change — but that didn't change the fact that, for some, Plante's victory was a surprise.
Julie Browning, a LaSalle resident, had not yet heard the election results when she spoke to CBC this morning. She was surprised to hear Plante had won the race.
"I thought Coderre was going to win," she said, adding that this is an opportunity to see what changes can be made in the way the city is run.
Little Burgundy's Yoland Cyrus said he was surprised, too.
"I think the people wanted a change, and we'll see if her platform does do anything for anyone, whether our taxes go up or stay down," Cyrus said.
"I'm hoping ... what happens [is] for the best."
Trudeau, politicians offer their congratulations
A number of politicians applauded Plante on her big win, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Philippe Couillard.
"I'm looking forward to working together toward our common priorities," Trudeau said on Twitter.
Congratulations <a href="https://twitter.com/Val_Plante?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Val_Plante</a>, first-ever woman elected mayor of Montreal! I'm looking forward to working together on our shared priorities.—@JustinTrudeau
Parlé <a href="https://twitter.com/Val_Plante?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Val_Plante</a>, 1ère mairesse! À <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MTL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MTL</a>: de nouveaux pouvoirs et de beaux projets à venir. Prêts à se mettre au travail. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/muni2017?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#muni2017</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PolQc?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PolQc</a>—@phcouillard
Mélanie Joly, federal heritage minister and 2013 mayoral runner-up, also praised Plante in a tweet, as did Bloc Québécois Leader Martine Ouellet.
Félicitations <a href="https://twitter.com/Val_Plante?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Val_Plante</a> première mairesse de <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Montr%C3%A9al?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Montréal</a> Au plaisir de travailler ensemble pour améliorer la qualité de vie des Montréalais—@melaniejoly
Félicitations à Valérie Plante, 1ère femme mairesse de Mtl! Une victoire inspirante! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ProjetMtl?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ProjetMtl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Municipales2017?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Municipales2017</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/assnat?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#assnat</a>—@martineouellet
Time to live up to campaign promises
Walter Jaszyc, who is from Côte Saint-Luc and didn't vote in the Montreal elections, said he is happy to see the first female mayor come into power.
"I think she's going to do a good job," Jaszyc said. "I hope some of the things that she promised are going to come true."
For Cyrus, whoever won deserves the benefit of the doubt.
"I wish her the best of luck," he said, adding that before she was nominated as head of Projet Montréal, he had never heard of her.
An opinion poll this summer found Plante was still unknown to two-thirds of Montrealers, months after she took over as leader.
'Coderre was too much for himself'
During Coderre's campaign, the former mayor played up the city's flourishing economy and his efforts to combat corruption. But accusations of overspending and an arrogant personality triggered criticism from some Montrealers.
"I think it was maybe Coderre's attitude that kind of shook people up and they didn't like it," Browning said.
"Some people thought of him as arrogant, I think they thought something was worth a change."
For Jaszyc, Coderre was "too much for himself." He said he thinks the former mayor overspent on the city's 375th celebrations. The total costs of the anniversary projects add up to almost $1 billion.
"I don't find it was worth it, and all it did … was get the merchants, the store owners, the people who really make money for Montreal, very angry."
The last time a one-term incumbent was ousted in Montreal was 1960, when Sarto Fournier lost to Jean Drapeau.
With files from Jay Turnbull and Benjamin Shingler