Montréal, Nov. 25, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Mayor Valérie Plante and Benoit Dorais, chair of the executive committee responsible for finance, are presenting a 2020 operating budget, in the amount of $6.17 G, as well as a 2020-2021-2022 Three-year capital works program in the amount of $6 G.
"Today, we are presenting a budget for all Montrealers. One that provides for the creation of lively living environments and for the measures necessary to enable Montrealers to enjoy them. Because our population wants a city on a human scale, an ambitious city. Montrealers wish for their city to gather the resources necessary to overcome today's challenges, and the hurdles of tomorrow," said Mayor Valérie Plante.
"Citizens are at the very heart of our priorities, our planning and our decisions. They are also the main focus of our management of public funds. Our city's very first pre-budget consultation aimed to enable the population to take part in the financial decisions that influence their daily lives. This process yielded a series of recommendations that provided a framework for the orientations of this year's budget, a budget in the image of all Montrealers," explained Benoit Dorais.
This budget is geared towards improving local services and the quality of life of Montrealers, focusing on four main priorities: mobility, the ecological transition, housing and economic development.
Montréal continues to enhance its collective and active transportation systems, thanks to an envelope of $2,117.1 M earmarked for urban planning and mobility. The city is also increasing its contribution to the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) by $69 M, namely for the integration of new buses. Montréal is also granting an additional amount to BIXI Montréal, to allow for 2,200 electric bikes to be added to the bike sharing network. Having successfully completed its first year of service, Montréal's Mobility squad will also receive a 55% increase, bringing its 2020 budget to $1.4 M, in order to enable it to continue to streamline traffic across the city.
Moreover, the city will continue to roll out its Vision Zero initiative, in order to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on Montréal roads. A $1 M envelope is allocated for temporary developments, in addition to the $1 M earmarked to enhance safety in 45 school crossing zones. The city will also invest $58.5 M over 3 years to add pedestrian lights with digital timers at every intersection equipped with traffic lights.
By setting ambitious targets, and by acquiring the necessary means to reach them, Montréal is taking the appropriate steps to realize its ecological transition. Additional funding of $2.8 M is thus awarded for the coordination of actions set out in the 2020-2030-2050 climate plan. In order to undertake the necessary shift to become a zero waste city by 2030, the new Waste management master plan (PDGMR 2020-2025) will also be implemented. What's more, $487.2 M will be earmarked for the collection and treatment of recyclables and green or food waste.
More than $624.7 M will also be allocated for the purchase and preservation of green space, as well as for sports. Of that amount, $154 M will be invested in local parks, sports facilities, arenas and aquatic facilities. Included in that envelope will be $21.7 M meant for the development of 6 new hectares in the Parc Frédéric-Back, while $13.1 M will allow for development work to begin at the Grand parc de l'Ouest.
Because we believe that every citizen is entitled to adequate housing within their means, more than $202 M are attributed to housing. Montréal is intensifying its efforts to realize its project to provide 12,000 social, affordable and family dwelling units, with more than 50% of this target having already been reached. In the 2020 budget, subsidies in the amount of $140 M are granted to expand and improve the city's social and affordable housing market, and to support access to property, particularly for families.
Economic development contributes to improving the structure and enhancing the vitality of our city's territory. In order for Montréal to become a leader with respect to sustainable and inclusive economic growth, $555 M are earmarked for Montréal's 2018-2022 Economic development strategy "Geared up for the future". Of that amount, $355 M were obtained through agreements with the government of Québec. Several initiatives will support the economic development of our territory, namely two master plans aiming to develop areas having an economic vocation, thus allowing for the rise of the East End of Montréal.
Local business owners will not be left behind. The tax relief measures we have successfully instated last year have been expanded. Thus, a 12.5% tax reduction will be applied to the first increment of $625,000 of property value in 2020. Last year, a 10% tax reduction had been applied to the first $500,000 property value increment, which had been beneficial to 90% of Montréal's business owners. The city is continuing to roll out its strategy to reduce the gap between residential and non-residential tax rates. For the year 2020, the average increase in residential taxes will be of 2.1%, and of 1.5% for non-residential taxes.
In closing, it is also important to note that significant amounts are provided in this budget to help improve the daily lives of Montrealers. Thirty new positions are created to improve 311 services, thus enhancing our first line citizen services and reducing waiting times. Some $56 M are invested in the renovation and expansion of Maisonneuve and L'Octogone libraries. And an additional amount of $1.1 M is allocated to snow removal operations, in order to enable boroughs to complete up to two additional snow-loading operations on their territory.
For the very first time in its history, the city is producing a participative budget. This initiative includes a $10 M envelope and will enable the population to propose and make decisions related to projects funded under that portion of the budget.
"For two years now, we have been building the future of Montréal. This budget propels us, enabling us to continue to transform our city. Through this budget, we can offer Montrealers a city where every person can find their place, a city they can all relate to," concluded Mayor Valérie Plante.
SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Cabinet de la mairesse et du comité exécutif
For further information: Source: Geneviève Jutras, Attachée de presse principale, Cabinet de la mairesse et du comité exécutif, 514 243-1268; Information: Gabrielle Fontaine-Giroux, Service de l'expérience citoyenne et des communications, Ville de Montréal, 514 872-0333