Montreal borough mayors complain of lack of funds from central city

Click to play video: 'Montreal borough mayors demanding their fair share from city budget'
Montreal borough mayors demanding their fair share from city budget
WATCH: Some of Montreal's borough mayors are warning that local taxes could go up at the same time public services are slashed. That's what they are warning will happen unless the city increases the budget for the boroughs. Global's Tim Sargeant reports – Sep 6, 2023

Some of Montreal’s borough mayors are ringing the alarm bells that local taxes could go up while services are cut because of a lack of transfer payments from the city of Montreal.

The mayors of Montréal-Nord, St-Laurent and Outremont held a press conference Wednesday, saying the payments from the central city aren’t keeping up with inflation.

Last year, they say, their local budgets increased by one per cent, while this year it’s only two per cent.

“Going from one to two per cent doesn’t even get you to first base,” Alan DeSousa, the St-Laurent Borough Mayor said.

DeSousa says necessary upgrades to the Hartenstein Park municipal pool can’t go forward because of a lack of funds from the city.

“Some of our pools are costing a fortune to be able to redo them and they’re being held by a Band-Aid,” DeSousa said.

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It’s a similar situation in Outremont where the borough mayor says public services are threatened because of a lack of funds.

“We cannot develop and maintain our infrastructures because we don’t have the staffing for it. So, you know, probably going to be cuts,” Laurent Desbois, Outremont borough mayor, said.

Meanwhile, in the suburban cities and towns, many local mayors complain they’re overbilled by the central city to pay for shared public services such as police and public transit.

Some suburbs are required to send more than half of their annual revenues to Montreal.

Dorval has had to put the freeze on building a refrigerated ice rink because most of its budgetary revenues are sent to Montreal.

“It doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense for our taxpayers,” Marc Doret, the Dorval mayor, told Global News.

In a text message to Global News, Marikym Gaudreault, a spokesperson for Montreal’s executive committee, writes that the city has reached the end of its model for financing municipalities and boroughs and a summit involving cities and towns across Quebec begins Thursday to find new ways of financing them.

Click to play video: 'Montreal borough mayor threatens to separate from city over flood funding'
Montreal borough mayor threatens to separate from city over flood funding

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