It's an idea that's been floating around for awhile but it hasn't been in the news much lately.
However, it's important to keep talking about it, if we ever want this idea to become a reality.
I'm talking about independence.
No, not the independence of Quebec from the rest of Canada, I'm talking about the independence of Montreal from the rest of Quebec.
To say Montreal is under-performing would be an understatement. We are actually the poorest city out of North America's twenty five largest cities, even though we spent most of our history in the top 10.
If things stay the way they are now and our current policies remain the same, then we simply cannot expect things to improve.
As of now, Montreal and Quebec have the lowest level of entrepreneurship in Canada, the highest taxes and the lowest degree of liberty.
Combine this with a lack-luster education system along with an alienating culture, and we're doomed to remain in the same shitty position we're in.
The first thing we need is more control over the laws that affect us. Montreal is constantly being held back by rules and regulations that are better suited for the rest of Quebec.
We couldn't be any more different from each other, yet we are all lumped into the same pile.
But if Montreal was its own city-state, then we would be free to govern ourselves and we could actually be free to control our own destiny.
Compared to the rest of Quebec, Montreal has very different needs when it comes to language laws, healthcare, taxes, education and commerce, so it makes sense that we should have different sets of rules.
This way, we could work on improving our city, without having to worry about what the rest of Quebec thinks.
Here are some of the changes Montreal needs to adopt to make their way back into the top 10. These were proposed by Montreal City State, an organisation actively pursuing the city-state initiative.
- Make more efforts towards becoming bilingual
- People should be able to attend whatever school they want regardless of language
- Businesses should be allowed to operate in the language of their choice
- Everything in our power needs to be done to encourage business development
- Remove the existing obstacles that make it harder to start a business
- Fight the corruption in the construction industry
- Fix city infrastructure
- Do more to attract and retain international talent
- Nurture the multi-ethnic aspects of the city