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Montreal’s demerged cities say they’re paying too much for services

Click to play video: 'Montreal’s demerged cities say they’re paying too much in taxes for services' Montreal’s demerged cities say they’re paying too much in taxes for services
WATCH: Many of Montreal's demerged city mayors believe they are paying too much for services they aren't necessarily getting. Montreal West Mayor Beny Masella says he feels the cities have been thrown under the bus. Global's Elizabeth Zogalis has more – Oct 16, 2021

Many of Montreal’s demerged city mayors believe they are paying too much for services they aren’t necessarily getting.

Montreal West Mayor Beny Masella says he feels the demerged cities have been thrown under the bus.

Read more: Experts, Montreal mayor weigh in on Quebec’s 2021-2022 budget

A recent decree released by Municipal Affairs Minister Andree Laforest states all demerged cities will bear 18 per cent of the cost of services provided by the City of Montreal even though they only account for 12 per cent of the population.

“What we wanted to have done was to have other methods incorporated into that,” Masella says.

“So taking into account user pay principals, taking into account population principals to make sure that the division of the cost is more fair.”

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Masella says billing should be based on the amount of public services the 15 suburban municipalities receive, not on property values.

Those services include public security, fire services, water and public transit.

Pointe-Claire Mayor John Belvedere agrees.

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“Over the last three years, all the mayors of the demerged cities have sat down, formed committees, and we’ve actually come up with $158M that has been evaluated and justified in services that we were paying too much for. So that I don’t understand why nobody will look at that,” he said.

Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle agrees that this has been an ongoing problem for years and Montreal’s inability to negotiate any terms is getting old.

“Montreal has never really wanted to change anything in the existing way of the governance and the share of expenses,” Bourelle says.

In an email to Global News, Laforest’s office declined an interview because of the ongoing municipal elections, but a spokesperson wrote they will continue to listen to stakeholders after the election on Nov. 7 and will be open to discussing solutions.

The three mayors say they plan on discussing the next step in the coming weeks.

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