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Development of downtown and rates for drinking water, Mayors within the Montréal agglomeration reach an agreement

4 mars 2016

Montréal, March 4, 2016 – Montréal agglomeration mayors reached an important agreement to maintain the long-term development of the city's downtown area and to establish a billing method among the cities for potable water that will be based on consumption, using a principle of fairness for all parties.


Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal, and Peter Trent, President of the Association of Suburban Municipalities and Mayor of Westmount, this morning announced the conclusion of the agreement at Montréal's city hall. They were accompanied by the president of Montréal's executive committee, Pierre Desrochers, and the mayors of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Paola Hawa, Senneville, Jane Guest, Kirkland, Michel Gibson, Beaconsfield, Georges Bourelle, Mont-Royal, Philippe Roy, and Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Ed Janiszewski.


Development of downtown


“The development of downtown is strategic for the economy of Quebec. This agreement keeps financial support by the cities in the Montréal agglomeration in order to maintain the development of the economic heart of Quebec on a simplified, predictable and permanent basis,” said Mr. Coderre.


“This annual contribution for downtown infrastructure proves that the citizens of member cities within the Montréal urban agglomeration are well aware of the vital role played by downtown in the overall economy of Quebec and the entire metropolitan region,” added Mr Trent.


The contribution of the 15 reconstituted cities – which has grown and has already reached close to $6 million per year – will henceforth be fixed at $8 million starting in the 2017 financial year and indexed annually.


Water and sustainable development


The mayors of the Montréal agglomeration also reached a first agreement intended to support a more equitable sharing of drinking water costs among the cities of the Island of Montréal, with rates based on consumption.


“For us, it's important to adopt best environmental practices. Charging for water among the municipalities based on volume will serve as a motivation to reduce our consumption. Not to mention that this is standard practice in the rest of North America,” said Mr. Trent.


Starting in the 2017 financial year, operating expenses for activities related to the production and distribution of drinking water will be shared among the cities based on their respective water consumption rather than on real-estate assessment values.


“Since the Montréal agglomeration was created in 2005, these two issues have remained a bone of contention between the reconstituted cities and the Ville de Montréal. It's important that we put these differences behind us so we can all recognize the role of Montréal and its downtown as an economic engine, and in order that each municipality feels that it's being treated fairly. I commend the leadership shown by Mr. Peter Trent and the commitment on the part of the mayors in reconstituted cities to having a strong metropolis focused on the future,” concluded Denis Coderre.