This week on ‘Focus Montreal’: Jan. 12

Focus Montreal introduces Montrealers to the people who are shaping our community by bringing their stories into focus.

The program airs Saturday at 5:30 p.m. as well as Sunday at 7:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and midnight.

Take a look at who we’re meeting this week.

Valérie Plante talks priorities for 2019

It’s a new year and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is kicking off 2019 with an optimistic outlook.

Plante joined Global News senior anchor Jamie Orchard earlier this week, and while she reflected on lessons learned in her first year in office, Plante is looking ahead.

In 2019, her priorities remain mobility and housing and Plante isn’t afraid of thinking big.

One of the city’s biggest projects is the revamping of Ste-Catherine Street, which is set to resume in February.

READ MORE: Montreal’s Ste-Catherine Street construction begins

While plans for the street include less parking, Plante said public consultations will be held before any changes are made.

Plante also dismissed the notion that she is “anti-car,” saying she understands people in the suburbs have limited options for getting around — something she hopes to change.

“My goal in the medium and long term is that there are options so that we can tell people:  ‘How about you don’t use your car today.'”

One of the projects that may have led to the mayor being labeled as anti-car was the partial closure of Camillien-Houde to through traffic for a six-month trial period.

For her, Plante said, the pilot project was always about security and access to the mountain.

READ MORE: Keep the mountain open: Montreal opposition

Despite drawing a lot of criticism for the pilot project, Plante said she’s eager to see the final report by the Office de Consultation Publique de Montréal.

On the housing front, Plante said the city will be moving ahead with its inclusion bylaw — the goal being to ensure Montreal remains an affordable city for all to live in.

A political balancing act

The second segment of Plante’s two-part interview with Orchard focuses on the mayor’s relationships with the demerged cities and towns, and the official opposition at city hall.

READ MORE: Demerged surburban cities cry foul over Montreal agglomeration payments

Issues discussed include agglomeration payments by demerged cities, as well as accusations of a lack of consultation when it comes to decisions affecting the suburbs.

READ MORE: Montreal, Pierrefonds-Roxboro mayors face off over snow removal

Ode to Montreal

Tourisme Montréal’s latest promotional video has quickly become the talk of the town.

The video, featuring a cheesy love song called “Reviens-moi,” is an ode to Montreal. It premiered last weekend as an ad on La Fureur, a popular French TV show and has been making waves on social media all week long.

Most people are asking what it’s about, while others are wondering if it’s a joke and why Toursime Montréal is spending money on it.

Regardless of what people think, the ad is getting attention — especially for Mathieu Samson, the artist behind the video.

Samson sat down with Orchard to discuss his latest hit.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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