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Abolish Montreal's 'Little Kingdoms'

 

 

Posted by: Michael Dudley

 

 

8 January 2008 - 1:00pm

 

Owing to political fragmentation and 20 different mayors, the Canadian city of Montreal is becoming increasingly dysfunctional and must be simplified, writes Lysiane Gagnon.

 

 

"How many mayors does a city with 1.8 million people need? In Montreal, no fewer than 20."

 

"Mayor Gérald Tremblay chairs city council. Nineteen "smaller" mayors chair the conseils d'arrondissements; these municipal districts have become responsible for zoning, housing, parks, street maintenance and so on. The arrondissements often collide with the central administration, and some of the mayors, riding on their inflated status, behave like feudal lords."

 

"Montreal [is] divided...into 'arrondissements' (some carved out of the main city, and others corresponding to the former suburban municipalities) [to which are] delegated massive powers. Montreal was stuck with 19 cities within the city."

 

"More and more, Montrealers complain about the disintegration of services. They don't even know who to blame because there is no tangible political accountability."

 

"The absurdity of the system...was especially obvious in the wake of two consecutive snowstorms that descended on the metropolitan area before Christmas. Since boroughs are responsible for snow removal, the clearing operations varied from one district to another."

 

"In Côte-des-Neiges, the streets surrounding two hospitals were still clogged days after the snowfall, while the quiet residential streets of Rosemont were thoroughly clean. The worst was in Ville-Marie. Sherbrooke, Montreal's major east-west artery, was still lined with giant snowbanks when the second snowfall hit. On Ste-Catherine, Montreal's major commercial street, the Ville-Marie workers never managed to spray salt or sand on sidewalks covered with black ice. "It was the worst performance in memory," wrote Gazette city columnist Henry Aubin, who believes that snow clearance, like firefighting and policing, should be subject to a unified policy."

 

"Actually, Montreal is ready for more: The city should be recentralized and its little kingdoms abolished."

 

 

Source: Globe & Mail, Jan 07, 2008

http://www.planetizen.com/node/29179

Full Story: Down with Montreal's 19 kingdoms

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Entièrement d'accord avec Mme Gagnon. Ils ne fallait pas défusionner Montréal et Longueuil. C'était une maudite gaffe.

 

Historiquement, ça deviendra un boulet dans le testament politique de Jean Charest. Un de plus.

Ça prendra des décénnies pour que Montréal s'en remette.

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I don't see the connection with the mega city debate. This has to do with the fact that each neighborhood has its own mayor.

 

For those of us who did not agree with the mega city plan, the reason was simple: our everyday services like garbage removal, snow removal, street maintenance etc... was phenomenal. These were well managed municipalities while the Ville de Montreal was always worse borderline disgraceful. Now, as some of those once independent municipalities now find themselves still with Montreal, we feel the difference (eg : Ville St Laurent).

 

Finally, this is a democracy and there was nothing more democratic than allowing these cities to de-merge as they never wanted to become part of the mega city per the PQ. It is the weird system of councils and mayors that was established as a compromise that is the problem.

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Finally, this is a democracy and there was nothing more democratic than allowing these cities to de-merge as they never wanted to become part of the mega city per the PQ. It is the weird system of councils and mayors that was established as a compromise that is the problem.

 

I somewhat disagree. Toronto is a so-called democracy as well, and there were many people in that city that were opposed to the mergers...yet the mayor had balls, and did not allow any of the cities to de-merge...and it has been beneficial for the city...whereas here, once again we do everything the half-assed way!

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