Anjou mulling demerger, others to fight cuts from within
Published Friday, August 29, 2014 8:11PM EDT
Demerger questions are once again on the table, as at least one Montreal borough is mulling over the possibility of leaving the city due to budget cuts.
A petition has been created to push a project that would ask permission from the province to return to its former status as an independent municipality.
“People have been calling," said Anjou Borough Mayor Luis Miranda. "They want to sign the petition."
Miranda is looking to collect 25,000 signatures for a petition that he'll bring to the Quebec government.
Many Anjou residents supported an initiative to demerge from Montreal in 2004 but not enough signed up for the project.
One municipality that did not miss the demerger train was Cote St. Luc, where the mayor says he is delighted with the results.
“It's vastly different. We have far better services and much better control over our costs,” Cote St. Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather told CTV Montreal Friday.
He says that residents have reaped the benefits in everything from snow clearing services to new facilities.
“We built a new indoor swimming pool, we never would have had the money to do that if we were in Montreal, our sports services, we kept our ems service which would have been lost if we stayed in Montreal.”
Others boroughs embittered by a new funding plan that will see funding cuts to their area, are not considering demerging.
The Plateau area is not mulling such a departure, nor is the Southwest borough, an area facing a budget slash of 11 percent.
Southwest borough councillor Craig Sauve said that the cuts could hit his area particularly hard.
“This area has a lot of single parent families and a lot of problems with dropout rates that are exceedingly high in some sectors. There's a lot of need,” said Sauve.
He says that over the next 10 years cuts will total $33 million in the borough that includes such areas as Cote St. Paul, Ville Emard, St. Henri, Griffintown, and Little Burgundy.
“We are going to apply pressure and we're going to do everything we can to make sure that we can keep our services up. the cuts are hurting us bad,” he said.