MONTREAL | City of Montreal organizes a citizens ‘ consultation in preparation of the budget for the year 2021, which will inevitably be marked by the consequences of the pandemic COVID-19.
This budget consultation comes at a time particularly good, although the finance of Montreal have been sealed by the downturn in the economy, as well as by control measures against the disease. Estimates at the end of the spring left already indicate that the City could find itself with a shortfall of up to $500 million.
These concerns of the elected officials are found elsewhere in the survey, which launches the budget consultation. The City asks the citizens if they agree with the idea of seeing property taxes increase faster than inflation or, in the contrary case, in what area of service they would like to see the City focus its cuts.
The administration of mayor Valérie Plante asked if the City should increase its investments and its debt to stimulate the economy, or even whether it should apply to the government the right to make a deficit in 2021, a measure which has already been claimed in the past few weeks. Remember that the law prohibits cities to present a deficit budget.
The pandemic leads the City to “revise its methods and to place at the heart of montréal life some sectors of the economy such as economic vitality, commercial and local cultural, social solidarity, the ecological transition, the active mobility and infrastructure”, explained the office of the mayor Valerie Plant in a press release Monday.
“These priorities will occupy a prominent place in our consultations, in a context where Montreal wants to seize all the opportunities to lay the foundations of a new economy that is more inclusive, resilient and green”, a-t-is added.
The mayor Plant considers that consultations are used to bring citizens closer to the decisions taken by the City, by allowing them to express their point of view.
It will be the second edition of this pre-budget consultation annual.
“The new exercise of democratic participation put in place by 2019 has allowed us to experiment, to learn and to measure interest from the general public”, explained the chairman of the executive committee, Benoit Dorais, indicating that nearly 70 people and groups have participated in the last year.
The consultation will take place in three stages. It includes an online survey with the filing of briefs, analysis and development of recommendations prior to the filing of the report to the city council.