The Basics: Valerie Plante is the 45th Mayor of Montreal, elected in November 2017. Plante is the first woman to be elected as the Mayor of Montreal. Plante served as a Montreal City Councillor for Sainte-Marie from 2013 to 2017, and was elected as the leader of Projet Montreal in December 2016. Projet Montreal currently holds 34 of the 65 seats on Montreal City Council, the largest City Council in Canada.
Background: Plante was born in western Quebec in 1974. She studied anthropology and museology in university, and worked in the nonprofit sector after graduation. Plante was the Communications Director of the Girls Action Foundation.
Things You (Really) Should Know: Montreal has easily one of the most complicated municipal government structures in Canada. The City of Montreal includes 19 boroughs, each with an elected Mayor and Councillors. Montreal City Council includes 19 Mayors, including the Mayor of Montreal (who is also the Mayor of the Ville-Marie Borough) and 18 other Borough Mayors, as well as 46 City Councillors who serve on both the City Council and their respective borough Council. There are an additional 38 Councillors elected in Montreal who only serve on their borough Council. And if this all sounds complex, read up a bit on Montreal's history of amalgamation and de-amalgamation, or a bit about their political party system. Warning: you'll need some time.
Fun Fact: In the 1990s, Plante worked as a tour guide at Vimy Ridge in France.