City Hall, under the leadership of Mayor Valérie Plante, is expected to unveil a new budget for Montreal on Wednesday. And while the Plante administration promises a balanced budget, they’re also promising “a lot of pain” along with it.
Shortly after being elected, Mayor Plante and her team found a $358 million deficit in the city’s budget, allegedly left by the outgoing Coderre administration.
Plante promised to balance the books, and apparently the mayor and her team did just that, but not without some drawbacks.
“We did,” said Luc Ferrandez, mayor of Plateau-Mont-Royal and member of Montreal’s executive committee to CBC, commenting on how the Plante administration was able to cover the multi-million dollar deficit.
"We did, but with pain. With pain, with a lot of pain” said Ferrandez to CBC, adding that Montrealers shouldn’t expect any major boons from the new budget.
“Christmas is over” said Ferrandez.
Somewhat fortunately, Ferrandez alluded to there being no major tax hikes in the budget (aside from tax raises in line with inflation) but didn’t comment on any of the promised “pain” that Montrealers will experience.
In order to circumvent future budget-woes where one administration blames the wrongdoing of another, the leader of Mouvement Montréal (formerly Équipe Denis Coderre) suggested the creation of an independent budget office for Montreal.
The budget officer would be able to assess financial data without bias, as the individual in question would not be aligned with a specific political party, and offer insight on the costs of major municipal projects.
The Plante administration agreed, via spokesperson, that unbiased financial oversight would be useful but said the creation of a whole new office is unnecessary.