Coderre proposes new council of mayors to handle billions of dollars in funds
MONTREAL -- Montreal mayoral candidate Denis Coderre wants to give more power to borough mayors through a new, cross-party committee to manage $120 billion in dedicated funds.
The mayors would be able to allocate that money over four years, but his opponents say it would only mean more red tape.
“We want to create some specific funds,” said Coderre at his Sunday campaign event, surrounded by Ensemble Montreal borough mayor-hopefuls.
“The new management should now be based on dedicated funds because its easier to follow and it has the merit to be more accountable,” he said.
The proposed committee would allocate money for road safety, sidewalk upkeep, park maintenance, and the creation of dog parks.
Coderre says it will prevent projects falling victim to partisanship – accusing Projet Montreal of causing delays in Ensemble Montreal-held boroughs.
Projet Montreal, for its part, says it’s better suited to respond to the needs of boroughs.
"Projet Montreal stopped the cuts planned by the Coderre administration, which ultimately returned several millions of dollars to local budgets,” read a statement from Projet Montreal.
“The boroughs will be able to continue to count on our team to restore the inequities left by the former administration.”
Movement Montreal's Balarama Holness agrees with giving boroughs more autonomy but doesn’t think Coderre’s plan is the right way to do it.
“We don't need extra councils or commissions,” he said. “Let’s give money to boroughs directly. Right now, [there’s] too much red tape.”
Montreal’s 19 borough mayors already sit on city council in addition to their regular borough council duties.
Political analyst Raphaël Melançon says that any committee with members from more than one party will have to deal with partisan politics.
You have people that that represent the two parties, and they play political games all the time at city council,” he told CTV News.
“So, if you have another committee, where you have bipartisan representatives, you're going to have the same games.”