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Budget 2021 and 2021-2030 Ten-year capital works program | Supporting our population, investing in our future

12 novembre 2020

Montréal, le 12 novembre 2020 - Mayor Valérie Plante and Benoit Dorais, chair of the executive committee and member in charge of finance are presenting the city's 2021 operating budget totaling $6.17 G, as well as the 2021-2030 Ten-year capital works program totaling $18.69 G. The latter will provide for more effective planning, projecting investments on a 10-year horizon. It is the first program of its kind in the history of our city.   

“The budget we are presenting this year carries very special meaning. Prepared at a time when Montréal is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, this budget aims first and foremost to meet the needs of fellow Montrealers. It is a budget anchored in today's reality as the second wave of the pandemic is sweeping through our city, while we work towards our economic recovery. This is why the 2021 operating budget and the 2021-2030 Ten-year capital works program provide resources to face the crisis, but also levers to help us reach our objectives for the future of our city,” stated Mayor Valérie Plante.

“The year 2020 was shaken by an unprecedented health crisis. While our metropolis spared no effort in supporting its population, it faced a significant increase in expenses and a major drop in revenues. Faced with this financial hurdle, Montréal reacted swiftly and rolled out various solutions. Today, the city is presenting a balanced budget that does not increase the tax burden borne by households, that continues to allow for quality services to be delivered to the population and that provides for a brighter future,” explained Benoit Dorais, chair of the executive committee and member in charge of finance.

In order to offset the economic impacts of an unpredictable global context and to support organizations, retailers and businesses, the city has taken, since the very beginning of the crisis, a series of emergency measures. Today, Montréal is staying the course by freezing property taxes under the jurisdiction of the central city for the year 2021 for both residential and non-residential immovables. This represents $56 M less in tax revenues for Montréal, but more money to help Montréal's business owners and families weather the crisis. The city will also be rolling out the second phase of its economic recovery plan, with a $50 M budget, aiming to meet the most pressing needs of Montréal's businesses and retailers, while stimulating investments in the most promising fields.

Once again this year, the city has decided to improve its differentiated tax rate measure taken back in 2019. This strategy reduces some of the tax burden borne by the owners of smaller non-residential properties, namely local store owners. Thanks to consistent actions rolled out over the past 3 years, two thirds of Montréal's non residential immovable owners will see their total tax charges cumulatively reduced by 16%. 

Montréal will continue to invest in defining active transportation and public transit projects, which will contribute to its economic recovery, while providing more accessible and affordable travel solutions. The city is also choosing to help Montréal's seniors and families by imposing more equitable public transit rates. In this regard, the city has asked the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitaine (ARTM) to apply, as of July 2021, and additional 50% reduction to reduced fares for seniors, as well as to provide free access to children younger than 12 years old to the entire STM system. This measure applies to Montréal residents. Furthermore, Montréal will invest $9.3 M towards fair pricing measures.

The metropolis will also be taking part in the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along the Boulevard Pie-IX axis, including the reconstruction of municipal infrastructures, the construction of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM), and the extension of the blue metro line, all of which amount to nearly $347.8 M by 2030. In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities to a minimum on Montréal's streets, the city will also continue to roll out its Vision Zero strategy, with a budget of $60 M as part of the Ten-year capital works program 2021-2030.

Montréal's real estate market is currently booming, and the social and economic impacts of the health crisis hit the city's families, many of them struggle to find adequate housing. To address this issue, the city's Strategy to develop 12,000 affordable and social housing units is yielding tangible results. For a third consecutive year, the city will also be investing in innovative affordable housing concepts that are aimed at households otherwise not covered by existing programs. With the purchase of land for the purposes of developing social housing units, investments will increase from $50 M to $100 M over the next 10 years, an unprecedented sum. Moreover, three new subsidy programs will be rolled out in order to tangibly improve Montrealers' quality of life, while supporting the city's economic recovery and meeting criteria related to climate change.  

This pandemic has accentuated social inequality, which is why the city will continue to take all necessary action to help its most vulnerable citizens. In 2021, a total of $10 M will be earmarked to fight against poverty and exclusion, and $3 M will be invested in the fight against homelessness. In response to the report issued by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal, the city will also earmark $0.5 M in 2021 for the office of the commissioner for the fight against systemic racism and discrimination (Bureau du commissaire à la lutte au racisme et aux discriminations systémiques).

The health crisis has brought out the importance of green space for Montrealers. As of 2021, the city will therefore increase its investments in the natural habitats of our metropolis, enhancing its canopy and protecting biodiversity and shorelines, while improving their accessibility. Thus, by 2030, $289.9 M will have been invested in protected areas and $286.6 M in tree plantation and the fight against the emerald ash borer.

In 2021, the city will also dedicate $4.7 M to its Bureau de la transition écologique et de la résilience to take various innovative measures as part of the 2020-2030 Climate Plan, the objective of which is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while leading the city's population towards that goal. The city will continue to encourage its residents to reduce personal consumption and recycle more organic waste.  An amount of $472.4 M is provided until 2030 for residual waste management.  

The Ten-year capital works program totaling $18.69 G will namely ensure the protection and rehabilitation of road and water infrastructures over the next 10 years. This remains a priority for Montréal. Over the next decade, the city plans to invest $9.4 G and nearly 77.2% of this envelope in maintaining its assets. Between 2021 and 2030, $4,885.6 M will thus be earmarked for water infrastructure, $456 M of which will be invested in 2021. The program for the renewal of secondary waterworks and sewer systems will receive investments totaling $1,789 M over the next decade, including the replacement of led water service connections. From 2021 to 2030, $4,558.3 M will also be allocated to road infrastructures, $486 M of which are earmarked for 2021. The protection and rehabilitation of existing structures will be a priority, with a budget of $3,456.1 M.

In 2021, just like in 2020, Montréal's decisions will increasingly involve citizen participation, whether through pre-budget consultations or by directly including citizens in the financial decision-making process. In this regard, the metropolis is rolling out a participatory budget this year, with a budget envelope of $10 M to be invested by 2022 in projects chosen by Montrealers.

“I am very proud of this budget. Just like I am very proud of Montrealers' resilience throughout this crisis. This budget enables us to fight against the pandemic and to come out of this stronger and more confident in our future,” concluded Valérie Plante.