The City of Montreal has some extra money, and by "extra" we mean millions. $53.6 million, to be exact.
After a presentation on the city's finances, mayor Denis Coderre revealed that Montreal actually has a surplus of $53.6 million this year, reports La Presse.
As of now the plan is to use the funds to limit the amount of taxes enforced upon the 2016 budget for the city to a maximum of 2%. That's all sound, sensible, and probably a smart move, but that fifty million could definitely be put towards more exciting and useful things in the city.
Here's what we think Montreal's extra $53.6 million should be spent on:
New STM Buses
There's a shortage of buses (and drivers) right now, which makes us really worried for the winter, when you might get stuck waiting in the cold for the bus. Coderre commented that he wants to increase the city's funding of the STM, so this might actually happen.
The iBus Tracking System
We've been waiting on the STM's real time bus-tracking app/web service for years now, and some extra funding could finally get iBus off the ground and in our hands. If there are more buses and we have iBus, the STM would get a serious upgrade in its quality of service.
Finish The Amphitheater, On Time
Parc Jean-Drapeau's scheduled makeover, featuring a fancy outdoor amphitheater, is set to be finished for 2019, even though the original date was 2017. Increase the man-power with more money and get this done on time, please? We can't handle another muddy Osheaga.
Yet another STM-related idea, but one that really needs to happen. Only nine of Montreal's metro stations have working elevators, a shockingly small number that is kind of ridiculous.
Create An "MTL" Sign On Mount Royal
Remember last year, when everyone got super excited about the idea of Mount Royal's cross becoming a Hollywood-esque "MTL" sign? Well, we do, and while all the old religious folks were super against the idea, we definitely think it could boost the city's image, and what better way to spend money than seeming cooler, right?
Women will lead five of Quebec's eight largest cities following the 2021 municipal elections.
The biggest headline of the night may have been Valérie Plante's triumph over old foe Denis Coderre in Montreal, but across the province, the faces of municipal politics have become more gender-balanced.
According to the latest counts and projections, France Bélisle (Gatineau), Catherine Fournier (Longueuil), Évelyne Beaudin (Sherbrooke) and Julie Dufour (Saguenay) are all also on their way to their respective (and figurative) city hall corner offices.
In Quebec City, it seemed for a while like Marie-Josée Savard would join them. Multiple outlets had even called the election for her until the vote count for her opponent surged into the evening. Bruno Marchand ultimately claimed victory.
Mayor Plante commented on the historic nature of her second mandate in her victory speech Sunday night.
"Four years ago, Montrealers elected the first woman mayor in the history of the City of Montreal," she said.
"Tonight, they told us again, 'yes, this mayor, we're going to continue to work with her, we trust her!'"
This year, for the first time, Montrealers will have two women leading the city, as Projet Montréal's Dominique Ollivier is set to take over as president of the Executive Committee.
The government is in the process of filling a Service Canada job bank and it's advertising salaries of between $61,152 and $65,887.
On an online recruitment page, the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) office says it needs to fill 45 benefits officer and program officer positions in Quebec and encourages qualified individuals to apply.
The only education requirement is a high school diploma.
While benefits officers review and process employment insurance applications, the government describes a wide range of duties for program officers, including coordination with local stakeholders regarding services from the ESDC.
Service Canada says it has EI processing centres and "program branches" in Montreal, Laval, Boucherville, Drummondville, Thetford Mines, Shawinigan, Quebec City and Saguenay, but that it may assign alternative workplaces to applicants who don't live in these areas.
In addition to a high school diploma, Service Canada is looking for applicants who have experience totalling six months "in delivering services or programs to the general public" or "interpreting and applying legislation or policies."
The language requirement is either French-only or French and English, depending on the position, according to the recruitment page.
Complete details about the positions available and the application process are online.
To the surprise of many, Quebec City also made the Top 10 — and it ranked higher than Montreal, with Quebec City at #4 and Montreal at #6.
This ranking looked at the cost of living, internet speeds, the percentage of young people, levels of safety, and more.
Our province may have been blessed enough to score two top spots in this ranking, but we still didn't make it to #1, which was Tokyo, Japan.
If ever you were thinking of going to study abroad, you may want to put Tokyo high on your list, considering it "ranks well in nearly all categories helping it to come out on top of the study. It has a good amount of high-ranking unis, great food options, and offers cheap tech. It has high levels of free speech and is above average for safety and high-ranking institutions."