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The faces of citizen participation

Through the years

  • 1833 to 1980 - Through the years
    Montréal democracy was 180 years in the making.

    Jacques Viger, premier maire de Montréal.1833

    First municipal elections. The 16 elected councillors appoint, from among their ranks, the first mayor of Montréal, Jacques Viger.


    First electoral list.
    The mayor is elected by all voters.


    Creation of aldermanic committees (abolished in 1909)


    Vote by secret ballot


    Creation of the executive committee Clic to enlarge

    Creation of the executive committee

    Jessie Kathleen Fischer. 1940

    Establishment of three classes of councillors: Class A (elected by property owners), Class B (elected by property owners and renters), Class C
    (appointed by Montréal associations and organizations)

    First woman elected to city council, Jessie Kathleen Fischer

    1960 – 1962

    Abolition of the C Class of councillors - Abolition of the A Class of councillors

    Jacques Viger commission

    Premières élections municipales à Montréal. 1970

    First universal suffrage municipal elections in Montréal


    Official recognition of municipal parties by the Québec Government

    Citizens may henceforth ask written questions from city council under a Québec Government law.

  • 1986 to 1995 - A PROLIFERATION

    Since 1986, there have been numerous advancements in Montréal democracy.

    The major milestones are as follows:

    Conseil de la ville. 1986

    City council – public oral question period


    City council – first five (5) standing committees on city council.

    First edition of the Jeune conseil de Montréal, mock city council meetings held by young Montrealers Montréal advisory committee for the protection of cultural property.

    Consultation committee on the expansion project for the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal – first ad hoc consultation committee composed of commissioners from civil society


    A total of six ad hoc consultation committees were formed in 1987 and 1988 to measure
    citizens’ opinions on a variety of subjects, from the establishment of the World Trade Centre Montréal, to the development and enhancement of Parc Ahuntsic and the area surrounding the Henri-Bourassa metro station, and the directional statement for the development of the Centre (Ville-Marie) borough.

    Decentralization – Division of the territory into nine (9) boroughs andestablishment
    of 13 Accès Montréal offices


    City council committee composed of elected officials – public hearings on the public consultation policy statement

    Bureau de consultation de Montréal.Establishment of borough councils, local consultation bodies composed of elected officials, initially known as district advisory committees (9)

    Bureau de consultation de Montréal (BCM)


    Montréal declaration against racial discrimination – adopted by city council


    Montréal advisory committee on intercultural and interracial relations


    Bureau du Médiateur de Montréal.

    Montréal Office of the Mediator, a position held by an elected official

    Abolition of the Bureau de consultation de Montréal. From 1989 to 1994, the BCM held public hearings on various projects, including: the development and enhancement of Mount Royal; the integrated management of solid waste and recyclable materials; the establishment of a municipal library in the Rivière-des-Prairies area; and the redevelopment of the Marché central métropolitain.


    Committee for the revision of public participation and consultation procedures at the
    Ville de Montréal – ad hoc city council consultation committee made up of elected officials

    Abolition of borough councils

    Montréal urban development commission (MUDC)

    Neighbourhood councils (16)

    City council standing committees, henceforth numbering
    two (2):
    - Administration and citizen services committee
    - Finance and economic development committee

    Montréal advisory committee on intercultural relations

  • 2000 to 2012 - CONSOLIDATION

    Commission consultative. 2000

    Consultation committee on the Urban Planning Public Consultation Policy – an ad hoc consultation committee created by city council and composed of commissioners from civil society


    Municipal reorganization of Island of Montréal territory (municipal mergers)

    The council recognizes the city council chair as the guardian of the democratic values of city hall.

    Public question period introduced in 27 borough councils newly created by the Québec Government. The boroughs also establish various participation mechanisms, such as public consultation meetings on matters pertaining to urban planning, advisory planning committees, commissions, committees of elected officials, and work groups involving citizens.

    There are now seven (7) council standing committees.

    Task Force on Democracy

    Comité ad hoc d’architecture et d’urbanisme

    Conseil du patrimoine de Montréal

    Conseil interculturel de Montréal

    Conseil jeunesse de Montréal

    Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM)

    Ombudsman de Montréal – The Office of the Ombudsman replaces the Office of the Mediator

    Sommet de Montréal


    Conseil des Montréalaises

    Charte montréalaise des droits et responsabilités. 2005

    Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities – adopted unanimously by city council

    Montréal’s public consultation and participation policy


    New Ville de Montréal – The number of boroughs drops from 27 to 19 following the referendums on the municipal mergers in 2005.

    Montréal agglomeration Council

    Droit d’initiative en matière de consultation publique. 2009

    Right of initiative to public consultations for citizens – unanimously adopted by city council

    Webdiffusion. 2010

    Live webcasting of city council meetings


    Standing committees – They now number nine (9).

    Prix du maire de Montréal en démocratie. 2012

    Mayor of Montréal’s Democracy Award

    Live webcasting of executive committee meetings Jacques Viger Committee