(Quebec) Are there too many cities in Quebec? The Minister of Municipal Affairs refuses to answer, but he insists he is minister … 1133 municipalities. “That’s a lot,” admits one that called for amalgamating services to hundreds of municipal representatives at the Centre for Quebec conference Friday.
“The forced mergers, there will not,” ruled Mr Moreau. The statement was applauded by participants at the congress of the Federation of Quebec Municipalities (FQM) held until today.
“Many people have played in this painful film forced mergers,” recounted the Liberal minister. No question, therefore, impose new wave of mergers after the early 2000s under the Parti Québécois government.
Still, Quebec has many cities, he says in the same breath.
“I am Minister of Municipalities 1133. It’s a lot. I know the feeling of belonging is very strong. But if among you, they tell me they want to share services, resources or merge, I will not hinder it, “he said, mentioning that Ontario has 400 municipalities.
A desirable number in Quebec? “No, I have no goals in terms of numbers,” said Mr. Moreau media following his speech.
The minister reiterated cons want to create incentives for the sharing of services such as police or certain infrastructures. This could be achieved by easing some subsidy programs.
“Mayors of small municipalities say they have an advantage to regroup with others for services or merge, but they do because they tell us there is penalizing programs. If they had more flexibility, they would. ”
On Friday, the president of the FQM, Richard Lehoux described as “reassuring” the prospect of relaxations to certain programs. But mergers are not an option for him. “I do not think there are too many municipalities and we are not in an era when there must be so many mergers that. The identity that people have for their environment is important, “he says.
At the Union of Municipalities, the President Suzanne Roy had shown favor such incentives in an interview to the Sun in July. “We must find a way to facilitate amalgamating services, you must have the flexibility and currently this is not the case,” she said.
Minister Pierre Moreau also took Friday in his address to the members of the FQM to promote its 2016-2019 fiscal pact on which they are pronounced since Thursday and until this morning by electronic vote. The fiscal pact proposed to municipalities is “not perfect,” he said, but it is a “win-win proposition.”
With the support of large cities represented by the Union of Municipalities that have already said yes to 80% in the 2016-2019 fiscal pact, the Minister expressed confidence that the FQM will give the green light to his plan. The vote will be known this afternoon.
Oil transport: the parties want to reassure the mayors
The rail safety colored the speeches of leaders and candidates from the federal parties to address the members of the Quebec Federation of Municipalities (FQM) congress in Quebec. The leader of the NDP Thomas Mulcair started the ball rolling by accusing the laxity of preservatives. “It makes no sense to let companies inspect themselves. That is a dogma of the right, “he has said, returning to the Lac-Mégantic accident in 2013.” The responsible company is one of the few in Canada who received special permission to have one driver on board. ”
Conservative Party representative at the Congress of the FQM, the incumbent Steven Blaney responded that the Harper government has improved the railway safety as “increasing the number of inspectors” and “requiring companies to disclose the contents of goods transiting communities. ” The Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe has qualified for its share of “disappointing” that Mr. Mulcair is “in favor” of Heat terminal project in Belledune. “He refuses to hear the concerns of people and mayors throughout Quebec,” he began. The candidate of the Liberal Party Mélanie Joly believes for his part that “the Conservatives have no credibility on the transport of dangerous goods” and calls for “rules to ensure security.”
The Congress in brief FQM
Biomethanation: more time, same goal
Give three more years to municipalities to adopt a biogas plant does not alter the objective of a greener Quebec, if one believes the minister Pierre Moreau. “It does not question our goal of reducing greenhouse gases,” assured the owner of Municipal Affairs. The province wants to reduce by 2030 its emissions of greenhouse gas by 37.5% compared to 1990. Still, the objective to prohibit the landfilling and incineration of all organic materials will be rejected. According to the fiscal pact on which voting members of the Quebec Federation of Municipalities until this morning, cities will have until December 2022 instead of September 2019 to comply with biomethanation. “Some municipalities were difficult to meet the 2019 deadline,” said Moreau. “They do not want to give up to do it, but they wanted more time.” A biogas plant turn into fertilizer and biogas in municipal sludge and food waste collected in brown bins future citizens.
PKP caustic Moreau and labor relations
Pierre Moreau replied in a tone of sarcasm to PQ leader Pierre Karl Péladeau who criticized the character “hypothetical” the power given to the mayors to enact the working conditions contained in the fiscal compact. “I think Mr. Péladeau is not the most credible guy in the world when it comes to talk about labor relations”, launched the Minister of Municipal Affairs yesterday. “He seems to have some difficulty to position themselves. I do not know why, right? “He dropped in reference to labor disputes been with Quebecor. “When he says the lockout, I think it is a specialist in something, so I guess he could tell if it applies or not,” quipped the Minister Moreau.