WESTMOUNT, QC, Nov. 12, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Peter F. Trent, Mayor of the City of Westmount and President of the Association of Suburban Municipalities, today launched "The Merger Delusion", his 700-page book detailing the 2002 mergers imposed on Montreal Island municipalities by the Quebec Government. Mayor Trent's findings show that the mergers resulted in $215 of additional operating costs per resident, or $400 million a year for the whole Island of Montreal. This amount will probably dwarf even the additional yearly cost borne by the same Montreal taxpayers for infrastructure contracts inflated by corruption.
Regarding the forced mergers, Mayor Trent said, "The public was lied to. They were told that mergers would save money and would redirect suburban taxes to Montreal. They were told that mergers were urgent, a world-wide trend, and had always been imposed in Quebec. None of those things was true."
Looking ahead, Mayor Trent says a complete Montreal metropolitan reorganization is necessary:
- Boost the power of Montreal's boroughs and reduce the central bureaucracy.
- Replace the Agglomeration Council with three special-purpose boards.
- Abolish the need for an executive committee and political parties by creating a 19-member Montreal city council.
- Create a Quebec Department of Metropolitan Montreal with its own minister.
- Adopt a Charter of Municipal Rights, requiring referenda to approve mergers.
Trent said the merger-demerger serial fiascos amounted to "a tragedy of errors in two acts." Adding that many mistakes had been made - some probably well-intentioned - Trent noted the problems resulting from forced mergers largely exceed the municipal field and the Island of Montreal.
SOURCE: Mayor Trent's Office
For further information:
Anne Renaud, 514-989-5240