Innovating Without Sacrificing Quality of Life

“Montreal is very interested in developing itself as a city, economically, and to have a very safe political system as well. But it seems that it has never decided to sacrifice a type of quality, of interactions between people, you know? So it’s not gonna be done at the detriment of a certain quality of life. And it seems that Montreal is very particular in that way. Because it doesn’t want to let go of that.

It’s as if Montreal is saying, “We want to have everything.” We want this. We want to succeed as a city. We want to be innovative. We want to be culturally fireworks, but we also want people to feel happy to live in this city. And this is unique. Because where I come from, the economy is the reason why, well, only focusing on the economy, and sacrificing the way of life, is what politicians nowadays think is the right thing to do.

And when you see les gilets jaunes and when you see even populism that is rising, it’s because, according to me, and I’m not a specialist, but I’ve lived in disadvantaged areas, so I think I’m an expert in what people need. And it’s not only a job. It’s also to be treated as a human being, and to be allowed to contribute, you know? It’s simple. When you have this, I think you have peace.

In Montreal, honestly, I found peace. And so many people who thought that it was not possible, they are telling me the same thing. So you know, there’s a success here. And I think Montreal can give a big lesson to a lot of countries and cities in the world, you know? And show them what things can be done when you don’t let go of the human part of being a city, and an innovative one.”