Suburban mayors reject Montreal’s capital works budget

WATCH: Mayors from demerged cities voted en bloc against the city’s capital works budget. Elysia Bryan-Baynes explains why.

Mayors of Montreal’s demerged cities voted en bloc against Montreal’s capital works budget.

The controversial budget passed without suburban mayors’ support since Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante has a majority in council.

Suburban mayors say they could not vote for the budget because too many of their priorities were left out.

“We weren’t consulted on any of this,” explained Westmount Mayor Christina Smith. “We are not the opposition, we want to be a partner in this.”

READ MORE: De-merged cities concerned over their fair share of Montreal’s new spending budget Tim Sargeant By Tim Sargeant

Several suburban mayors wondered why the budget didn’t include more details for the long-awaited extension of Cavendish Boulevard.

“How long are we going to talk about Cavendish without moving forward on it?” Smith said.

Cote St. Luc’s mayor, Mitchell Brownstein, is cautiously optimistic that Montreal will eventually move forward in 2019.

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“Benoit Dorias says that $110 million will be there for 2019 to negotiate with CP and CN Rail. So we will keep that on record and hopeuflly negotiations will move forward,” Brownstein told Global News outside the council chambers on Wednesday.

Earlier in the week, the suburban mayors which represent many west-end Montreal towns and cities, submitted 32 recommendations to the city centre.

In it, they asked to be consulted ahead of any budget so that important projects don’t get left out.

The recommendations were accepted by council, but don’t affect this year’s budget.

“We had a tight timeline,” said Projet Montreal’s Rasannie Filato.

“We’ve been in power three months, we had to get this done, but we are committed to consulting and working with the demerged cities.”

Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle also cited concerns over the levels of debt being taken on by the city of Montreal.

“We project that the debt will reach as high as 110 per cent of revenues in three years. If that is the case, then it will harm the city’s ability to pay it back and it could ultimately harm taxpayers.”

READ MORE: Montreal finance commission makes 32 recommendations to city’s capital works budget