The birth of a baby is synonymous with joy, but is experienced differently from one family to another. To mark the occasion and to promote equal opportunity for all children in the city, the leader of Projet Montréal, Valérie Plante, announces that the parents of all newborns in Montreal will be entitled to a Welcome Baby Box.
This box will include :
- Items in the colours of Montreal (clothes, blanket, bib, toque or other);
- Must-have items (thermometer, book, diapers, etc.)
- Vouchers that will allow new parents to continue to enjoy all that Montreal has to offer (metro tickets, admission to a Espace pour la vie museum);
- A guide to the services offered in Montreal and the support organizations available to parents.
In addition to being a symbol of Montreal pride, this box will allow thousands of children and families to get a slightly easier and less expensive start in life, thus contributing to equal opportunity.
This concept is already well established in Finland, which has provided a box similar to the one proposed by Projet Montréal since 1938. Scotland also established a similar program four years ago. France will begin distributing a "baby box" in February.
Projet Montréal plans to offer the $100 gift boxes to families with newborns at the beginning of its second mandate. An annual budget of $2 million will be set aside for this initiative, which should benefit some 20,000 families with newborns each year. Families who wish to decline their box will be able to do so. An equivalent cash donation will be made to an organization that works with Montreal families.
This measure is in addition to several others to simplify the lives of Montreal families, including free public transit for those 11 and under, already in effect since July 1, and the reduction of the monthly fare to $27 for 12 to 17 year olds in the next mandate.
"Families are one of Montreal's greatest assets. Many of our commitments are aimed at improving their quality of life, whether it be the construction of affordable housing, the development of parks, or making safer intersections. But we want to go even further by celebrating the birth of Montreal babies. That's why we're giving them a gift box, filled with beautiful items, must-haves, and things for parents to spoil themselves with. It's a small gesture, but one that can make a big difference in the lives of parents. It's another good reason to choose Montreal as the place to start your family!" - Valérie Plante, leader of Projet Montréal
"The arrival of a new member in the family is indeed a great joy, but it also involves important expenses. Projet Montréal wishes to support Montreal families by offering them a starter kit in the colours of Montreal, which will combine the practical with the pleasant. Parents will also find it handy by allowing them continue to enjoy life in Montreal with their children. Montreal is a great city for families and we will make sure it stays that way. - Laurence Lavigne Lalonde, candidate for mayor of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension