Gagné Report on the Longueuil Urban Agglomeration: a Fiscal and Governance Crisis on the South Shore

BROSSARD, QC, Oct. 4, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The mayors of the cities of Brossard, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville and Saint-Lambert welcome the observations and conclusions of a study by HEC Montréal economist, Professor Robert Gagné, on the results of municipal "merger-demergers".

The Gagné report from the Centre for Productivity and Prosperity is clear: when the effects of "merger-demergers" are evaluated by comparing the before-merger per capita expenditures of the reconstituted municipalities to those observed after the demergers, Boucherville, Brossard, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville and Saint-Lambert are the big losers.

For example, before the mergers, Brossard was spending 26% less than the average for municipalities of the same size while, after the demergers, it exceeded the average by about 19%. For Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Saint-Lambert and Boucherville, the picture is even worse. According to the study, they have seen their spending grow to 48%, 32%, and 64% above average for cities of the same size.

"This is a crucial time in Brossard's development. Major public transit and urban development projects will soon transform our city. The city cannot develop to its full potential and meet the needs of our citizens with such a tax burden" said the Mayor of Brossard, Mr. Paul Leduc.

The Mayor of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville pointed out that citizens of his municipality were at a disadvantage compared to those of neighbouring cities not linked to the Longueuil urban agglomeration. The lack of transparency in managing the agglomeration and the lack of cooperation between the Longueuil administration and those of the linked municipalities is a considerable challenge. "Services shared with the agglomeration are more expensive than those obtained by our neighbours working within an MRC. The Longueuil urban agglomeration is financially strangling St. Bruno residents" added Mr. Martin Murray, Mayor of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville.

For Saint-Lambert, the agglomeration's financial situation makes sound management of the municipality's public expenditures difficult. "St. Lambert residents demand more equitable treatment. The agglomeration must be reformed, both in terms of its funding and its governance" said Mr. Alain Dépatie, Mayor of Saint-Lambert.

In addition to its financing, the mayors want the agglomeration's governance to be revisited since the latter is currently dysfunctional in terms of decision-making. The lack of transparency and the absence of dialogue between the Ville de Longueuil and the linked municipalities is unacceptable.

Eighteen months ago, the reconstituted municipalities began to take steps to compel the Government of Quebec to reform the governance of the Longueuil urban agglomeration. It's obvious that Longueuil is costing the citizens of the linked cities too much.

Their mayors are open to the recommendations proposed by Robert Gagné. These proposals would ensure greater transparency in the agglomeration's management.


SOURCE Ville de Brossard

For further information: Alain Gauthier, Ville de Brossard, 450 923-6311; Suzanne Le Blanc, Ville de Saint-Bruno, 450 645-2903; Catherine Langevin, Ville de Saint-Lambert, 450 466-3077


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