Valérie Plante, a frontrunner in the mayoral election race in the City of Montréal, is campaigning on the issue of water quality and municipal infrastructure. She has vowed, if elected, to build retention basins to capture untreated sewage and to ensure the public is better informed about water quality.
The issue of sewage and wastewater infrastructure renewal was thrown onto the national spotlight in 2015 when the city decided to release eight billion litres of wastewater into the St. Lawrence River to conduct a necessary repair a 30-kilometre-long sewage interceptor.
Among the water-related promises in Plante’s platform, she has vowed to:
- Promote public water over bottled water, and combat waste;
- Maintain strong opposition to pipeline projects that threaten drinking water intakes in the event of a leak;
- Oppose any diversion of the Great Lakes outside their watershed;
- Oppose the creation of a nuclear waste dump on the Chalk River site on the Quebec border, less than a kilometre from the Ottawa River;
- Guarantee that water-related infrastructure will remain public and under the direct control of the city;
- Increase in-house expertise to ensure the sustainability of this highly-strategic network and the quality of drinking water and wastewater treatment;
- Accelerate the repair and replacement of water-related infrastructure;
- Perform more frequent checks on the network to prevent major breaks. Planned repair and replacement work costs roughly ten times less than emergency work;
- Reduce the rate of leakage in the water system in order to comply with the Stratégie québécoise d’économie d’eau potable;
- Adapt the drinking water and wastewater networks to account for the impacts of climate change, notably heavy periods of rain; and
- Optimize drinking water plants operating over capacity, particularly in the West Island, to reduce network redundancy, operating and capital costs.
Mayor Denis Coderre has defended his ten-year infrastructure plan as a measured and fiscally responsible way to make the necessary improvements.
Plante also promised to keep the public better informed about water quality in the river.
Plante represents Projet Montréal, a municipal political party in the city. She is campaigning in the Sud-Ouest neighbourhood.
Municipal elections are set for November 5th. There are eight candidates running for mayor.