In case you missed it, here's what happened in Montreal on Feb. 28

Montreal mayor Valerie Plante during interview at The Gazette on Friday February 16, 2018. Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette

A look at the day’s events in and around Montreal:

Mayor Valérie Plante to join economic mission to Japan

Mayor Valérie Plante said she will take part in an economic mission to Japan this June.

“I can’t wait to take part in this first economic mission,” Plante said at a meeting of the city’s executive committee Wednesday.

Organized in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, the mission will use Air Canada’s new direct link to Tokyo, which will start at the beginning of June, Plante said.

As the world’s third-largest economy and as a leader in areas like aerospace, robotics and the electrification of transportation, Japan offers numerous opportunities for trade and other exchanges, she noted.

Montreal launches million-dollar competition for ‘prestigious urban landmark’

Montreal is launching a million-dollar competition to create a major work of art for northern Outremont, where the Université de Montréal is building its new science and engineering campus.

The executive committee authorized $57,487 in expenses on Wednesday to hold the art competition.

The sculpture will be displayed in a square in the new neighbourhood planned for the north end of the borough, formerly rail yards and a decrepit industrial zone.

The development will also include 1,300 housing units, 30 per cent of which will be affordable, according to the city.

“By endowing the Outremont site with a prestigious urban landmark, Montreal is once again confirming the important contribution of art to attractive, sustainable urban projects that focus on sustainable development,” Mayor Valérie Plante said in a statement.

Amid threats of job cuts, school-bus drivers vote to strike again

Despite statements from the company lauding its own wages and warning job actions could cost workers their jobs, 330 school-bus drivers employed by Transco voted 85 per cent in favour of a new strike mandate on Wednesday. 

Earlier in the day — a third previously approved one-day strike — Transco issued a statement saying employees receive “the best salaries in the industry in Montreal.”

Laurie Henner, an area manager for Transco, said in a statement that the company’s offer to employees is based on “the ability of school boards to pay, (abilities) which are ultimately funded by taxpayers.”

An official for Transco also warned that continued strike action could result in the loss of jobs for some drivers.

While Transco acknowledged in the statement that strike days “have significant consequences for the communities whose services are interrupted,” it noted that the work actions could “result in the loss of driving routes and, therefore, the loss of jobs for drivers.”

“As a result, drivers who find themselves unemployed and without income may have to work for competitors who pay less than Transco, which offers the most competitive salaries in Montreal.”

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