Montreal Votes: Coderre wants a cut of sales tax, Plante wants more family housing
Published Thursday, October 5, 2017 7:45PM EDT
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre wants the city to get a larger share of taxes collected at festivals, while Projet Montreal challenger Valerie Plante called for more housing at Blue Bonnets.
As part of the electoral campaign, Coderre said he would use the new powers that have been granted to the city of Montreal to collect a share of provincial sales taxes on events that occur in Montreal.
The actual mechanism has yet to be worked out, but he said that Quebec is already collecting taxes on tickets purchased to multiple festivals that take place in the city, and that some of that funding should go towards Montreal's artists.
"It's not an expense, it's an investment that's providing a lot of jobs, thousands of jobs and has an economic impact of a billion dollars," said Coderre.
"The fact that we have, this year, more than 11 million tourists has an impact by itself on the wealth, and one of the reason they're coming here is because of our cultural events."
He said Montreal's new 'metropolis' powers should be used to direct funding to those that need it.
Meanwhile Valerie Plante discussed the long-awaited Blue Bonnets housing development.
Projet Montreal believe Coderre's party is not thinking about about how to attract families to the area, or those who want more than a small apartment.
Plante said that it wants more than half of the units built on the site of the former race track to have three bedrooms or more.
"Sixty percent of the housing all of the homes that will be developed will be for families. That means three rooms or more, and I like to remind people that not only is it good for families but it's also good for the new economic reality for freelancers. They often need a place to work from home," said Plante.
Projet Montreal said it also wants to ensure the development has a school, parks, and grocery stores.
The Blue Bonnets site has run into multiple development problems, including the difficulty of reaching the 43.5 hectare property.
In June Finance Minister Carlos Leitao and Coderre signed an agreement to have the province give the land to the city.
In exchange the city of Montreal will have to give the province half of the profits it gets from selling the land, and will have to extend Cavendish Blvd. from Cote. St. Luc to St. Laurent.
Under the agreement Montreal has five years to create a development plan, and six years to start selling housing.