The mayor of Montreal suffered an alarming moment on live television, collapsing behind the podium as aides rushed to her side while others called to turn off the cameras.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante was in the midst of answering a question about the rising homelessness within her city when she paused, closed her eyes, and gripped the podium with both hands before dropping to the floor.
“Direct them to other kinds of services, so I would…. Oh no,” she says quietly before falling.
Aides immediately surrounded her while another could be seen approaching a cameraman and speaking furiously in French, asking him to respect the mayor’s moment of vulnerability by refraining from filming her on the floor.
An ambulance was called to the scene, but Plante was not transported to the hospital according to CTV.
Plante, 49, was elected in 2017 as the city’s first female mayor in part on promises to end the city’s notorious traffic gridlocks while improving public transit as well as cultivating a more family-friendly downtown. Her party, Projet Montréal, won a majority of city council seats in the last election, paving the way for Mayor Plante to implement a progressive, environmental agenda being pushed by her allies.
Aides to the mayor blamed her collapse on a relentless, around-the-clock work schedule that has taken a toll on her mental state but insisted she would recover and focus on paring back her daily workload.
“She will gradually resume her activities and thanks everyone for their understanding and support,” said the mayor’s press attachée Catherine Cadotte. The statement was quickly followed by a post on X assuring Plante’s supporters that she was all right.
“The mayor of Montreal suffered a dizzy spell during a press conference and, fortunately, is out of danger. She will receive all the medical attention she requires and thanks you for your support,” it reads.
La mairesse de Montréal a subi un malaise en conférence de presse et, heureusement, elle est hors de danger. Elle recevra tout l’accompagnement médical requis et vous remercie pour votre soutien. #polmtl
— Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) December 5, 2023
“I’m thinking of you, Valérie. Speedy recovery,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau replied.