The opposition proposes the establishment of an independent Bureau of the budget in Montreal

Photo: Michaël Monnier Archives The Duty

Trying to put an end to the “war of numbers” that characterized the debates surrounding the budget of the City of Montreal, the opposition at city hall suggests the creation of an independent Office of the budget, in order to perform financial analyses on the decisions of the elected.


This office would have between 30 and 40 employees and have a budget equivalent to that of the Office of the inspector-general of Montreal (BIG), which is approximately $ 5 million, suggested the leader of the opposition, Lionel Perez, Monday.


Several u.s. cities, like New York, San Diego, Pittsburgh and Chicago, have set up such a body. The canadian federal parliament, for its part, recourse to the parliamentary budget officer, reported the opposition.


In Montreal, this office would bring together non-elected officials that would be able to validate the financial data advanced both by the administration and by the opposition parties, to examine the impacts of the decisions of the elected as well as the costs of the proposals of the candidates during electoral campaigns.


The opposition believes that this office is relevant. “It would elevate the debate and, to a certain level, it dépolitiserait the numbers, even if there will always be discussions and different points of view. But on the bottom, we could have a base with figures, ” explained Mr. Perez.


Why Lionel Perez and his colleague Alan DeSousa, who were members of the team of the ex-mayor Denis Coderre, have they not suggested the establishment of this office before ? “One is in 2018. There has been an election on November 5, 2017. We look to the future and we made proposals, ” replied Lionel Perez.


This instance could have been beneficial on numerous occasions in the past, has recognized Alan DeSousa : “One learns with experience. “


The opposition will file a motion with its proposal at the next meeting of the municipal council on 22 January.