July 3, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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City of Montreal | A budget “detached from reality”, condemns the opposition

Opposition to Montreal City Hall accuses the Plant-Olivier administration of filing a 2022 budget on Wednesday morning that was “untrue” and did not take into account the current epidemic.




Isabel Ducas

Isabel Ducas
Press

According to Aref Salem, leader of the Ensemble Montreal Party, the new budget is “already out of date”.

“There are no extraordinary measures in the budget to respond to this fifth wave that is hitting us,” he denounced.

“We must support our residents, our community organizations, our businesses, our restaurant owners, our cultural community, not to mention the tourism community. ”

Instead of filing it shortly before Christmas, the municipal administration will have to wait until January to finalize the document to fix it in response to the meteoric rise of the Govt-19 cases and the new measures ordered by the provincial government. , Says Salem.

“We ask them to go to the drawing board to prepare a budget that is most relevant to reality,” he says.

The city has no room for maneuvering in the face of the epidemic, financial spokesman Alan de Souza condemned. “The drawers are empty. We owe it to the ears,” Mr. de Souza protested.

According to him, the administration has exaggerated the revenue due from fines and penalties, transfer duties and parking fees, and will face a deficit in 2022.

Cities involved in the integration of Montreal also condemned the increase in the city center’s spending, which has been described as “abuse”.

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Their representatives estimate that their consolidated allocations will increase by 3.3%, taking into account previous shortfalls.

“At least there is no equity policy that guides the city of Montreal. And Montreal West Mayor.

Facing these criticisms, Dominic Olivier, chairman of the board, responded that if we did not take into account the cumulative deficit of the deferral this year, the increase would be only 2.5% for the connected cities.

He stressed that Quebec has provided financial assistance to municipalities to deal with the loss of revenue associated with the epidemic. Related cities may have set aside this money, as the city of Montreal did.

Rather favorable economic environment

In addition, large corporations representing the economic community responded positively to the Montreal municipal budget presented on Wednesday.

The Federation of Free Trade Associations of Canada (CFIB) has praised the low tax burden on small businesses.

“The CFIB underscores the city of Montreal’s commitment to its strategy of bridging the gap between residential and commercial taxation to get closer to the Canadian average,” said Francis Brube, director of provincial affairs for Quebec. “In addition, by raising the $ 900,000 limit on asset value to benefit from different rate measurements, this would mean savings for a greater number of Montreal SMEs.”

A pre-budget CFIB membership survey confirmed that tax burdens are of particular concern to small businesses, especially during epidemics.

On the side of the Metropolitan Montreal Board of Commerce, the reaction was very mixed.

“We welcome continued efforts to reduce the tax gap between residential and non-residential buildings,” President Michael LeBlanc said in a statement. “Restricting property taxes to 2% is a good decision in the context of the uncertainty we experience, not to mention the fact that Montreals are among the highest taxpayers in North America.”

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However, in an environment where real estate prices are rising significantly, Mr. Leplong criticized.

“The city’s budget situation remains dire,” the CCMM boss continued. Significant relocations will be required from the Governments of Quebec and Canada. The chamber is committed to supporting the city’s efforts to raise the required amount of funds, especially to support public transport companies, including STM, which faces declining service levels. ”