Wednesday November 10, 2010
Our borough is known for its rich biodiversity, its tranquility, its golf clubs, and its architectural history. This idillic image veils a darker reality: the unrestrained growth of the public debt.
For the past three years, our borough has borrowed money each year from the center city (Montreal) and the amount borrowed has now reached $982,800! Faced with this alarming situation, the administration decided to make reductions “that would not impact services for citizens”, according to Richard Bélanger. However, this is not the reality: our snow removal is inadequate, the opening hours of the Ile-Bizard Library have been reduced, the Sainte-Geneviève Library was closed and public security has been reduced to a minimum. In other words, services for citizens have deteriorated.
In spite of these measures and in spite of abnormal snowfall in 2009, the Borough’s deficit grew again by $200,000 last year. Must we be aprehensive of an even greater degradation of services for citizens? Or the imposition of a special tax? Neither of these avenues is acceptable. The time has come for Mayor Bélanger to put an end to his secretiveness and to present, to the citizens, viable scenarios to take the Borough’s public finances in hand.
If he’s lacking in ideas, Mr. Bélanger could ask the two Projet Montréal mayors elected in 2009. In the Plateau Mont-Royal, Luc Ferrandez is on track to rectify the disastrous situation left for him by the Union Montréal administration. In Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Mayor Pierre Gagnier already reimbursed the $4.9M accumulated by the old administration. On the other hand, our borough continues to sink into debt. The time has come to make choices and the administration responsible for the current crisis must at least have the decency to consult the citizens on these choices.
Jean-Dominic Lévesque-René, Projet Montréal candidate for 2009 and 2010 elections