The mayors of hundreds of cities and towns in Quebec are asking the provincial government to renegotiate a new fiscal pact.
The current deal expires at the end of next year and mayors say costs for cities and towns are rising to pay for local services.
Elected officials insist that new funds are needed to fund services like public transit, build more affordable housing, find solutions to homelessness, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climatic changes.
“It’s not millions or hundreds of millions, it’s billions of dollars that we need,” said Dominique Ollivier, president of the Montreal executive committee.
Premier Francois Legault says he’s ready to renegotiate a new tax deal, but no new money will be sent to cities and towns any time soon.
“I already explained to Madame (Valérie) Plante that there was no flexibility,” said Legault.
These remarks took the mayor of Montreal by surprise, but Plante hopes that a new agreement can be concluded.
“All we want is better fairness, financial fairness,” Plante said.
Local services are largely funded by municipal governments’ largest source of revenue: property taxes.
But some elected officials insist that is not enough as demands for more public services mount.
“Oh my God, if it’s the status quo and not a new fiscal pact, big cities are in trouble, in financial trouble,” Laurent Desbois, mayor of the borough of Outremont, told PKBNEWS.
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