Here are the top 5 candidates vying to replace the longtime mayor of Quebec

With the retirement of Mayor Régis Labeaume, Quebec City will soon have a new Chief at City Hall for the first time in over a decade.

Labeaume, known for his iron grip on the city, has been mayor since 2007 and received the award French Legion of Honor during a ceremony at City Hall last week.

Five major candidates are now candidates for mayor. Here’s a closer look at them – and their platforms.

Marie-Josée Savard, Team Marie-Josée Savard

Marie-Josée Savard has been vice-president of the city’s executive committee since 2017. (Louise Boisvert / Radio-Canada)

Marie-Josée Savard worked with Labeaume for eight years.

First elected to city council in 2009, Savard chose to take a break to raise her family four years later.

Since 2017, she has been vice-president of the city’s executive committee and councilor for the Cap-Rouge-Laurentien district.

Savard promises continuity, picking up where Labeaume left off in the construction of a tram project and promising to embark on the second phase of the city’s public transport network and cycle paths.

It will maintain the city’s plan to launch a composting program once a biogas plant is operational in 2022.

Savard promises 2,600 affordable and social housing by 2025, of which 20% would be dedicated to marginalized groups and homeless people.

She found herself having to defend Labeaume’s record throughout her campaign.

Her opponents say she has made town hall a “toxic” workplace and has done nothing against the over-taxation of residents. They also say she passed the buck when it came to protecting heritage buildings – a dossier for which she was responsible.

“I knew I was going to be a bit of a target,” Savard said at a press conference following the CBC mayoral debate last week. “I have to defend my record, and at the same time it feels like I have to defend the current mayor, so it’s definitely a major challenge.”

But Savard maintains that things have improved under Labeaume, and says things will get even better if she is elected.

Jean-François Gosselin, Quebec 21

This is the second candidacy of Jean-François Gosselin for mayor. He has been a member of the official opposition at City Hall since 2017. (Radio-Canada)

This is the second candidacy of Jean-François Gosselin for mayor.

Since 2017, Gosselin has been leader of the official opposition and municipal councilor of Sainte-Thérèse-de-Lisieux at town hall.

He was also a member of the National Assembly from 2007 to 2008, with the now defunct Action Démocratique du Québec.

This time around, Gosselin based much of his campaign on his proposal to replace the city’s plans for a streetcar with a 13.5-kilometer light rail metro and electric trambus to d’Estimauville.

Gosselin claims his project would be faster, better for the environment and cost the same.

“This is what we need for Quebec. We have the perfect setup for that with the hills, ”Gosselin told reporters last week.

“We can build it together – build a project that we will be proud of, that our children and grandchildren will be proud of.”

Gosselin is the only mayoral candidate who opposes the city’s $ 3.3 billion streetcar, pointing to last November’s provincial environmental review board report that found major flaws with the city’s proposal.

The city has made some adjustments since, allowing more space for city parks and wider sidewalks, while preserving the traffic lanes.

But his four opponents argue that it would be impossible to build his light rail with the same budget as the tram.

Quebec AM16:12Quebec City Hall Race – Jean-François Gosselin from Quebec 21

Quebec City will experience a change on November 7, now that Mayor Régis Labeaume is stepping down after 14 years in power. For the second of our interviews with the five candidates who want to be mayor of the capital, guest host Kim Garritty talks with Jean-François Gosselin, from Québec 21. 16:12

The Quebec 21 candidate is also the only candidate to fully support the third link tunnel from the province of Quebec to Lévis, although he proposes a slight modification to the project – that it be diverted further east in Quebec, in order to avoid traffic in the city center.

To help with the post-pandemic recovery, Gosselin promises to freeze business and residential taxes for the next two years.

It is also committed to building 6,000 affordable and social housing units and will devote $ 10 million to community groups.

Jean Rousseau, Democracy Quebec

Jean Rousseau, from Démocratie Québec, has been a municipal councilor for the Cap-aux-Diamants district since 2017. (Steve Breton, Radio-Canada)

Jean Rousseau, leader of Démocratie Québec, has been a municipal councilor for the Cap-aux-Diamants district since 2017.

Previously, Rousseau was president of the Citizens’ Committee of Old Quebec for four years.

Rousseau is calling for a complete overhaul of the Legault government’s third link project, suggesting that it be instead transformed into an underwater metro.

“I am opposed to the portion that will be a highway: 55,000 cars arriving in downtown Quebec, it is totally unacceptable,” said Rousseau following the debate last week.

“What I’m putting on the table is the equivalent of the yellow line between Longueuil and Montreal.

Rousseau also promises reserved lanes for public transport on the Pont de Québec and better snow and ice removal on city sidewalks.

He promises to spend $ 40 million a year buying land to build social and affordable housing and to create more affordable housing along the route of the next streetcar.

Rousseau also promises more community police stations in the suburbs to “avoid a climate of insecurity, like that of Montreal”, as well as an additional amount of $ 5 million per year for the hiring of intervention workers.

The increase in taxes for residents would be linked to the rate of inflation, promises Rousseau, raising no more than 2.5 percent.

Bruno Marchand, Quebec Strong and proud

Bruno Marchand is the former president of the Quebec, Chaudière-Appalaches and Bas-Saint-Laurent section of Centraide. (Guillaume Croteau-Langevin / Radio-Canada)

Bruno Marchand, from Québec Forte et Fière, is a newcomer to municipal politics.

Born and raised in the Limoilou district of Quebec, Marchand was president of the Quebec, Chaudière-Appalaches and Bas-Saint-Laurent section of Centraide from 2014 until the launch of his campaign this year.

Its goal is to achieve “zero homelessness”.

“How come other cities can go there but we’re too stupid to do it?” Marchand asked for debate. “We can work with community groups, be compassionate and work with these people. ”

Marchand said he would also help local businesses by lowering taxes and creating more pedestrian streets to expose local traders.

He promises to study the possibility of a royalty for real estate projects built around the tram network.

“It would avoid overloading the residents and it’s an innovative idea,” Marchand said last week. “This would ensure that it’s not just residents paying and not just businesses paying in the city.”

But some of his opponents say the plan would only lead to further gentrification of areas.

Jackie Smith, Transition Quebec

Jackie Smith, of Transition Quebec, is the only English-speaking candidate in the city. Its entire platform focuses on the fight against climate change. (Steve Breton / Radio-Canada)

Jackie Smith of Transition Quebec says she is the only mayoral candidate ready to crack down on climate change. She is also the only English-speaking candidate in the running.

Smith failed to win a seat on Limoilou city council in 2017, but she has served on several citizens’ committees since moving to Quebec City 15 years ago.

Throughout her campaign, she repeatedly criticized the province’s third link tunnel project between Quebec and Lévis, citing environmental concerns.

She pledged to make buses free for everyone and to put pressure on the federal government to transform the Pont de Québec into a car-free zone.

Quebec AM14:37Quebec City Hall Race – Jackie Smith from Transition Quebec

Quebec City will experience a change on November 7, now that Mayor Régis Labeaume is stepping down after 14 years in power. For the first of our interviews with the five candidates who want to be mayor of the capital, guest host Peter Tardif talks with Jackie Smith of Transition Quebec. 14:37

To achieve this, Smith plans to implement an ecological tax model. This would include adding a toll on Quebec City’s highways, charging those who come to the city more than twice a week, in order to avoid urban sprawl.

Smith also agrees to tax big box stores for the construction of large parking lots and to add a tax of three cents per liter on gasoline.

“I am the only person who has the courage to get things done and move in the right direction that won’t cause a huge climate catastrophe,” Smith said. Quebec AM. “I am the only person who has, who really has, my heart in social movements.”

To deal with the housing shortage, Smith says she would require 20 percent of all new housing buildings to be dedicated to social housing or family units. She also wants to ban Airbnb in all non-tourist buildings.

Comments are closed.