Mayors hope to change Valérie Plante’s mind on fee hikes

WATCH: The city’s finance commission held meetings in Montreal Thursday and as Global’s Billy Shields reports, the tax hikes in Mayor Valérie Plante’s recently released budget were front and centre of the discussions.

After Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante unveiled a new budget days ago with massive jumps in fees for demerged cities, mayors of those cities — and Montreal’s boroughs — are hoping to change Plante’s mind regarding the hikes.

“They had planned for inflationary increases,” said Ville St-Laurent Mayor Alan DeSouza. “Now they’re being whacked by amounts that are huge and out of proportion,” DeSouza told Global News, whose borough’s increase was minimal while hikes in other areas like the Town of Mount Royal are substantial.

According to the budget, TMR, for example, is getting slapped with a 9.8 per cent fee hike for 2018. The city of Westmount is looking at a fee increase of 6.8 per cent. The city’s finance commission is meeting to pick through the budget. It can make recommendations to the city but the city’s not obligated to follow them.

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“We’re hopeful that we still have some days ahead to get them to think about [changing] the budget,” said Westmount Mayor Christina Smith.

However, Plante said at a press conference that she doesn’t “have the flexibility” to change her mind.