Valérie Plante calls for more tax justice in Quebec

Valérie Plante calls for more tax justice in Quebec

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is calling on the province’s political parties to commit to restoring tax equity between Quebec and communities so Montreal can receive funding “to meet its responsibilities.”

Posted at 3:41pm

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Isabella Duca

Isabelle Ducas The press

“We have two years to negotiate the new tax pact, but in the meantime Montreal is governed by the archaic property tax model on which we are 70% dependent, given our growing responsibilities and the opportunities for Montrealers and Montrealers to stop paying,” Ms. said Plane at a press conference outside Montreal City Hall on Monday. “We have set up a tax project, but we need money now. »

In anticipation of the upcoming provincial election campaign, the mayor has produced a 15-page document detailing the city’s demands on provincial parties.

Ms. Plante declined to specify what amount she hopes to receive after Quebec’s desired budget consolidation.

However, she noted that on Monday morning the government of François Legault announced unexpected additional revenues of 4.7 billion.

The document prepared by their administration describes several services currently offered by the city, but which they believe are the responsibility of the Quebec government.

For example, Montreal estimates that Quebec should pay $51 million annually to offset the cost of police investigative and intervention services (Level 5 services) related to the metropolitan effect.

The provincial government is also being asked to fund the first responder service provided by the Montreal Fire Department, whose annual operating deficit is estimated at $12 million.

The city also wants to receive compensation for any costs it covers related to mental health interventions and health and social services.

“The next election is a crucial moment that should lead us to concrete solutions that respond effectively to the unprecedented crises we are going through together,” said Valérie Plante. I’m thinking of the climate crisis, the housing crisis, the increase in armed violence in our cities, but also of inflation, which is taking a toll on everyone’s wallet. Our administration is working on solutions to these problems, but it cannot act alone. »

The pandemic has shown that cities are often best placed to respond to specific issues, whether related to housing, mobility, homelessness or public safety, according to mayors. But they lack the means to act.

“We want clear answers to the demands of the metropolis, in particular how the government of Quebec supports the metropolis in the fight against armed violence, how to guarantee all Montrealers access to decent and affordable housing and how to implement a real sustainable mobility plan in the metropolis”, added Ms. Plante.

To discuss the community’s joint motions, the mayor met Tuesday with President of the Association of Quebec Communities, Daniel Côté, Mayor of Gaspé.

According to opposition at City Hall, Ms Plante should have made more specific public safety demands due to the escalation of shootings in Montreal.

“Parents are afraid to send their children to school or to walk their dog,” said Abdellaq Sari, the opposition’s public security spokesman.

According to him, there is an urgent need to address staffing shortages within the Montreal Police Department and equip police with handheld cameras, issues that were not addressed by the mayor at a press conference.