MONTREAL, April 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The Office de consultation publique
makes public today the report of the commission responsible for the
public consultation on the revision of the Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities. The Charter was adopted by city council a few years ago, following a vast
consultation held by the Office, and came into effect on January 1,
2006. The text refers to values largely shared by the citizens of
Montréal, and aims to foster responsible and harmonious relationships
among the citizens themselves, and between the citizens and the City.
The Charter serves as a form of social contract between Montréal and its citizens,
and recognizes their role in Montréal's affairs.
The commission received 37 briefs, as well as 32 citizen contributions
on the OCPM Website. Three information and discussion forums were held,
allowing the remarkable participation of several human rights experts,
the Conseil des Montréalaises, the Conseil interculturel de Montréal,
the Conseil jeunesse de Montréal, representatives of groups
particularly affected by the Charter, citizens, and many other members of Montréal civil society. The
discussions were very productive, as were the suggestions and
improvements proposed by participants.
The general consensus emerging from the consultation is that elected
officials, managers, employees and citizens should all become more
familiar with the Charter. The commission recommends that Montréal intensify its efforts in terms
of information, awareness-raising and education, and believes that much
work needs to be done in those areas.
Several of the proposals focused on making the Charter more effective. Firstly, in keeping with the opinion of numerous
participants, the commission recommends that Montréal draw up and make
public an implementation plan for the Charter. Specifically, it recommends the addition, in the Charter, of Article 31.1, providing for periodic reporting on Montréal's
activities to publicize and implement the Charter. Moreover, the commission recommends that the City ensures that the Charter and the commitments therein be applied equally by all of the boroughs.
The boroughs should also be obliged to produce reports.
The consultation also brought to light the essential and strategic role
of the position of the City's Ombudsman. The commission believes, along
with a large number of participants, that this institution should be
reinforced, and recommends that Montréal, among other things, ask the
Québec government to enact, in the Montréal Charter, Montréal's obligation to ensure the permanent status of this function.
Lastly, several people asked that the Montréal police and transportation
departments' subjection to the Charter be clarified.
The police department is an important player in implementing the Charter. The commission recommends that the police department's subjection to
the Charter be clarified by a specific mention concerning it in Article 29 of the Charter. The department should also be included in the list of departments
responsible for producing periodic reports.
Moreover, public transit brings into play a number of rights and
commitments enacted by the Charter, and notably issues of discrimination, services to vulnerable people,
air pollution and road safety. It affects a large number of Montrealers
in their everyday lives. The commission shares the concerns of
participants who believe that if the values and principles of the Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities make sense for all the municipal departments it covers, then it also
makes sense that it should apply to public transportation, regardless
of the fact that the latter is an independent entity from Montréal.
All available information on the project, including the commission's
report, may be obtained at the offices of the OCPM, 1550 Metcalfe
Street, Suite 1414, and at the Direction du greffe, at City Hall, 275
Notre-Dame Street East. The documentation is also available on the
Office Website, at www.ocpm.qc.ca.
SOURCE OFFICE DE CONSULTATION PUBLIQUE DE MONTREAL
For further information:
514 977-8365 (Cell.)