The Ville de Montréal 2008 Budget - A budget that controls expenditures and accelerates the rate of investment



    MONTREAL, Nov. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mayor of Montréal, Mr. Gérald
Tremblay, and the Chairman of the Executive Committee, responsible for
finances, Mr. Frank Zampino, this morning tabled the Ville de Montréal 2008
budget. "Thanks to a responsible and rigorous management of public funds,
today we are presenting an ambitious budget that reflects our priorities. We
want to make Montréal an even more prosperous city that all citizens can be
proud of," said the Mayor of Montréal.
    The 2008 budget amounts to $3.972 billion, which represents an increase
of 2.6% compared to 2007. Excluding the city's additional contributions to the
Société de transports de Montréal and the Water Fund, the increased
expenditures amount to only 1.3%, which is below the inflation rate. "Our
efforts to manage public funds in a responsible and rigorous manner have
produced results, as confirmed by the Aa2 credit rating awarded the city by
Moody's Investor Service of New York, the best ever given to Montréal," said
Mr. Zampino.

    Distribution of budget amounts

    The portion of the 2008 budget under the agglomeration council's
responsibility is $2.065 billion, or 52% of the overall budget, while the
amount for the city of Montréal council is $1.944 billion, or 48%. The city
council budget includes those of the 19 Montréal boroughs which total
$888.6 million, an increase of 2.5% over 2007.

    Historic investments in infrastructures

    The Three-Year Capital Works Program 2008-2010, also tabled today, is the
most ambitious program ever proposed by the city. Total investments are
forecast at $3.2 billion, an increase of nearly $1 billion compared to the
2007-2009 program. These investments include: $1.994 billion over three years
for projects under agglomeration responsibility and $1.179 billion for
projects under the responsibility of Montréal city council and its boroughs.
The boroughs alone forecast investments of $337 million over the next three
years.
    In 2008, the city will invest approximately $1 billion, primarily to
upgrade water and road infrastructures.
    While the city is investing record amounts in its infrastructure, public
transit and active transportation as well as substantially improving the
quality of services to citizens, the Chairman of the Executive Committee has
controlled public debt to alleviate the burden on future generations.
    "Our 2008 budget focuses on action and concrete achievements. Our
considerable investment efforts have been made possible by refocusing the city
on its essential activities and goals," Mr. Zampino said.
    Moreover, in 2008, recurrent savings resulting from the review of
activities, services, operations and programs will reach $100 million, in line
with the $300-million goal set for 2009. Personnel review also will continue
in 2008, with reductions equivalent to 408 positions, making progress in the
objective to cut the city payroll by 1,000 jobs over three years.

    Study and adoption of budget

    The 2008 budget will be tabled before city council this afternoon,
Wednesday, November 28, at 2 p.m. and before the agglomeration council on
Thursday, November 29 at 9:30 a.m.
    These budget forecasts will be examined by the standing commission of
city council on finance, administrative services and human resources, the
standing commission on finance and administration of the agglomeration council
and by the public security commission, between November 30 and December 10.
    City council will be asked to adopt the budget at a special meeting to
begin on December 11 at 2 p.m. The agglomeration council will adopt the budget
at a special meeting scheduled for December 13 at 9:30 a.m.

    The 2008 budget is available on the Ville de Montréal Web site at
http://www.ville.montreal.qc.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Richard Caron, (514) 872-9859; Source: Cabinet
du maire et du comité exécutif


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