Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Three priorities will mark the second half of Bruno Marchand's mayoral mandate. “We must adapt the city to climate change: we have no choice because inaction will cost more. We are a winter city, and having 4% of ice rinks open during the holiday season requires us to adapt.”
Sébastien Tanguay in Quebec
January 12, 2024
- Quebec City
Quebec and its mayor are not just about the tramway, and Bruno Marchand intends to prove it. Quality of life, economic vitality and adaptation to climate change will mark the second half of his current mandate — and will perhaps occupy the second he intends to seek in 2025.
Bruno Marchand wanted to dispel, from the dawn of the year, the doubt that had been creeping in about his political future since the government took the destiny of the tramway out of the hands of a mayor who claimed to be its captain. “I don’t want this to be a distraction for the next few months,” he explains to Devoir. I have an extraordinary team, we have ideas, the city has enormous potential and we want to work there. »
Narrowly elected to the town hall in 2021, Mayor Bruno Marchand has experienced a state of grace in the polls during his young political career, with support close to 70% at the start of his mandate , as the end of this same honeymoon, plummeting by 20 percentage points in the fall of 2024. Its star has faded with that of the tramway, also less and less in the favor of the population.
Bruno Marchand continues to believe in it, but “Captain Tramway” now leaves the rudder to the government. “Structuring collective transportation is a necessity in Quebec, but it is not the only key to moving the city forward. The government has taken the ball and it is now up to it to answer questions with CDPQ Infra. “Captain Tramway” wants to be “Captain Quebec”, he says jokingly. I took my spandex suit and gave it to Mr. Legault. »
Despite the mayor, the issue of transportation has monopolized a large part of the media attention over the last two years. The tramway and the third link almost systematically came up at press conferences, often to the great dismay of the main person concerned, who refuses to see his city reduced to these two issues. “There is so much that can be done about quality of life. Mobility is part of it, and I’m not letting go of that aspect, but it’s not just that. We've always said it: the tram is a card, it's a good card in the game, but it's not the whole game. I now want to work on the other cards”, adds Bruno Marchand.
Three priorities will mark the second half of his mandate. “We must adapt the city to climate change: we have no choice because inaction will cost more. We are a winter city, and having 4% of rinks open during the holidays requires us to adapt. »
Economic development will also occupy his administration. The mayor emerges energized from his vacation – perhaps less by this period of rest than by an article by the economist Pierre Fortin which he will quote on several occasions during his interview with Le Devoir and which depicts the nation’s capital as an “economic tiger.”
“We are at the dawn of major changes in the economy and we must be able to adapt so that our businesses emerge winners,” says Bruno Marchand. This requires working on the labor shortage, the lack of housing, on people’s safety, on the development of neighborhoods. »
He mentions several times, during the interview, “the bold positions and courageous decisions” of his predecessors who contributed to making Quebec “an exceptional place”. “I want to be able to continue creating a city despite the headwinds that are blowing, to have vision, to have audacity like others have had before us. »
His administration will continue the projects started during his first two years as town hall: encouraging active mobility, relieving homelessness, developing lively commercial arteries in each neighborhood, preparing the city for climatic hazards. 'today and tomorrow.
Now that the government has parked the tram at the Assembly, Bruno Marchand hopes to find a clearer path to talk about his other priorities. It remains to be seen whether the two main mobility issues in Quebec will be able to catch up with this mayor-runner.