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Montreal opposition calls for city to cancel parking meter hours extension

Click to play video: 'Opposition fuming over Montreal’s extended parking meter hours'
Opposition fuming over Montreal’s extended parking meter hours
WATCH: Montreal's opposition party Ensemble Montréal is asking for more transparency from the city after metered parking hours downtown were extended last month without any warning. As Global's Elizabeth Zogalis reports, the city did back down and parking meters have been changed back to the original hours, but some say it never should have happened in the first place – May 8, 2023

Montreal’s opposition party Ensemble Montréal is asking for more transparency from the city after metered parking hours downtown were extended in April without any warning.

Some meters downtown indicated drivers would now have to pay for parking from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

It’s a slight change from the original hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays; and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

“The administration tried to pull a fast one on Montrealers,” said Ensemble Montréal Leader Aref Salem at a Monday morning press conference.

After a report in the Gazette, the city backed down and claimed the municipal parking authority jumped the gun. There is now a pause on the plan to extend the hours, but Salem said there is no excuse for being sneaky.

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“We’re asking an amendment to this document they brought last December and we want to at least bring back the same hours that we had in 2022,” said Salem, who said the new schedule for parking meters was buried in more than 1,800 pages of budgetary documents published last December.

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“It’s a lack of transparency,” he said.

In an email to Global News, Executive Committee member Sophie Mauserolle writes:

“We took the concerns very seriously and we went to meet with our partners over the past two weeks. We will take the necessary time to continue our discussions, we will also adopt an order to this effect at the next executive committee and if there are changes we will communicate them in advance and in due form.”

Mike Zaki has several businesses in the Old Port. He doesn’t agree with the changes.

“Between the Bixis and the no parking and the five-minute parking and extended parking, it’s bad for business,” he said.

“I think if they want to do something, let people come downtown and park for free on weekends,” he added.

The opposition is also asking the city to return to 2022 rates. The per-hour parking rate downtown was hiked to $4 from $3.75 on April 1.

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Click to play video: 'Call to remove all free street parking in Montreal sparks controversy'
Call to remove all free street parking in Montreal sparks controversy

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