Valérie Plante and Directors Spend Over $500 in Transportation During Climate Change Summit

Campaign commitment to Taking Environmental Action Resulted in High Fuel Consumption

  • Valérie Plante (left) during the Mayoral Debate last October. File Photo Brian Lapuz

Valérie Plante went on her first international trip to attend the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change Summit and the C40 Bloomberg Philanthropies Award in Chicago on Dec. 4 and 5 in 2017. Documents obtained through an access-to-information request revealed that Plante and accompanying colleagues spent a total of $529.93 in taxi expenses.

The newly-elected mayor of Montreal visited Chicago with Henri-Paul Normandin, the director of Montreal’s international relations office, Stéphanie Jecrois, an advisor in international relations, Marie-Ève Gagnon, her cabinet director, Roger Lachance, the director of Montreal’s environmental service, and Marc-André Viau, her press secretary.

Roger Lachance turned down interview requests because of a busy schedule.

To get to downtown Chicago from the airport, Plante and her accompanying colleagues took a limousine that seats up to seven people.

The next day, they took another limousine that sits up to six people to get back to the airport on Dec. 5.

Both rides cost more than $321.

On top of that, Plante and Viau also paid $39 for an extra limousine ride to get around in Chicago, while Lachance paid $16.51 for two taxi rides in Chicago.

When asked if a cheaper, more environmentally-friendly transportation option existed, Geneviève Jutras, Plante’s press secretary, said that the mayor used the vehicles that were at her disposal.

According to Jutras, the organisation that received Plante, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change Summit, put these vehicles at her disposal.

Andrew Escobar, who handles contracts and agreements for Echo Limousine, which provided vehicles to Plante, said he had “no recollection of [a contract] with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change Summit.”

Jecrois arrived a day earlier in Chicago, and left a day later. She took a shuttle bus to get to downtown Chicago, and rode a regular taxi to get around the city. She spent a total of $39.76 in taxi fares.

Because Jecrois is a public servant, she is not part of the cabinet of the mayor, and that’s why she did not take a limousine to get around according to Jutras.
Normandin and Lachance are also not a part of the mayor’s cabinet.

During her electoral campaign, Valérie Plante repeated her commitment to taking environmental actions, to the 2015 Paris Agreement, and promised 300 hybrid buses for the Société de Transport de Montréal.

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