Back to Parliament: what are the challenges for Montreal?

Return to parliament: what is at stake for Montreal?

The Parliament Building of Quebec, housing the National Assembly.

Nearly two months after the re-election of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) with an overwhelming majority, debates will resume tomorrow in the National Assembly.

As Parliament returns, < em>Métro spoke with experts to identify priority issues for Montrealers.

Mobility:&nbsp ;ambitious but expensive projects

“For Montreal, the big question is mobility,” says without hesitation the associate professor of municipal management at UQAM, Danielle Pilette.

Mrs. Pilette is expecting several delays and cost overruns in the various road infrastructure and public transport projects.

Although the construction site for the extension of the blue line, which has been waiting for decades, is about to be inaugurated, many questions remain, according to the professor. “Yes it will be done, but at what pace, at what cost?”, she wonders.

Danielle Pilette also raises uncertainties about the Eastern REM. In particular, the conditions for connecting the REM to the city center and the commuter train line to Mascouche, which remain to be determined.

Regarding road infrastructure, she points out that the repair of the Louis Bridge-Tunnel -Hyppolite Lafontaine, who has caused a lot of ink to flow since October 31, “may also have surprises in store, in terms of costs and deadlines”.

Protection of French: the strengthening of Law 96

The protection of French is an “indispensable” issue, notes the lecturer in the political science department at UQAM, André Lamoureux.

The Quebec government will have to decide on the strengthening of the law 96 according to him, in particular on its application to businesses under federal jurisdiction and on the expansion of Bill 101 to English-speaking CEGEPs.

“[The issue of the protection of French] particularly concerns the greater Montreal area,” he explains, since the vast majority of the Anglophone and allophone population of Quebec live in the metropolitan area.

The Minister of the French Language, Jean-François Roberge, will have a difficult role to play in leading this contentious dossier, which will be the subject of numerous parliamentary debates, notes the professor.

The issue of respecting French in general, the provisions of Bill 101, there are many clashes.

André Lamoureux, lecturer in the Department of Political Science at UQAM< /blockquote>

Immigration: reception challenges and polarization

André Lamoureux raises the many challenges that await the provincial government in terms of immigration.

“What will the government's plan be to its objective of receiving 80% of immigrants as French-speaking candidates?” he wonders.

Welcoming these immigrants, like the management of irregular immigration entering Quebec via Roxham Road, is a “big issue” that will affect the metropolis, according to the political scientist.

Furthermore, Danielle Pilette underlines the “assumed” risk that François Legault and his government will alienate Montrealers with their remarks and their policies on immigration. Remember that the Prime Minister made several inflammatory statements during the last election campaign, for which he eventually apologized.

“Montreal, despite everything they say, is the place to welcoming immigrants,” she notes.

Public security: the prevention of armed violence

The experts consulted both agree: firearms control will be at the center of discussions in the National Assembly, considering the resurgence of armed violence in Montreal.

Minister of Public Security, François Bonnardel, “has a lot on the board,” says André Lamoureux.

It is up to the government of Quebec, in partnership with Ottawa, to control the circulation and distribution of firearms on its territory, observes the professor. More broadly, Quebec also has the responsibility to ensure that the various police forces on its territory act in concert, according to him.

For her part, Danielle Pilette notes that Quebec finances certain programs of the Police Service de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), and “that he has a lot to say about the training of the next generation of police”.

Moreover, the CAQ government must soon confirm the appointment of Fady Dagher, known for his approach based on community immersion, as head of the SPVM.

Municipal funding

On November 7, the City of Montreal held the first edition of the Forum on Montreal Taxation. At the end of this forum, Valérie Plante called for a new method of financing municipalities, denouncing the current “archaic” model.

The administration Montrealer wants a paradigm shift in Law on municipal taxation itself […] We want to diversify our sources of revenue, depend less on property tax.

Danielle Pilette, associate professor of municipal management at UQAM

That said, there will not necessarily be more openness on the part of the Legault government than its predecessors to respond to this recurring demand from cities, according to Danielle Pilette. The professor does not see “the Government of Quebec ceding shares of its own tax fields”.

It is however possible that the provincial government will grant certain financial accommodations to the City of Montreal on a piecemeal basis, without review the mode of financing as a whole, explains the specialist in municipal administration.

A method that Quebec would have learned from the federal government at its expense, particularly in the field of health, she affirms: “Quebec learns from Ottawa: we can be generous from time to time, for specific problems, without changing the formula”.

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