Valérie Plante targets two priorities for the provincial budget

Valérie Plante targets two priorities for the provincial budget

Josie Desmarais/Métro

Believing that she is “at the heart of the storm” that is hitting Quebec, grappling with “a crisis of the social and affordable housing and an unprecedented public transit funding crisis”, the City of Montreal is asking the provincial government to invest “the required amounts” in social housing and public transit.

La Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, transmitted these requests to the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, in pre-budget consultation, on February 24.

“The needs are major and the City cannot resolve these crises on its own. Despite the fact that we invested a record $600 million in housing in our last budget and that optimization efforts of more than $18 million were deployed by the STM, the City of Montreal and the metropolitan region must to be able to count on the support of the Government of Quebec,” said Mayor Valérie Plante in a press release on Wednesday.

The municipality is of the opinion that in terms of housing, 2,000 new social and community housing units per year are necessary to ensure “equitable real estate development and contribute to the fight against homelessness”.

The municipality Ville de Montréal proposes to take over, in its AccèsLogis Montréal program, the 1,098 units of the AccèsLogis Québec program that are still awaiting the necessary funding to see the light of day.

The Plante administration is also asking that Quebec guarantee it, in return, additional funding of $314.5 million, in addition to the transfer of the basic subsidy already provided for in the program ($69.5 million). Montreal would then assume the entire risk of building these units.

“We are more convinced than ever of the importance of building social housing. Many projects are just waiting for the necessary funding to see the light of day. Hundreds of households could thus find accommodation in the territory if there were available accommodation in line with their ability to pay, ”estimates the president of the executive committee, Dominique Ollivier.

Public transport

The COVID-19 pandemic has considerably transformed the travel habits of the population, recalls the City of Montreal. The Plante administration points out that this had “a devastating impact on the transit funding model,” which was developed when workers commuted every weekday to work.

Recall that the STM, grappling with a deficit of $78 million, recently announced that it would reduce its expenses by $18 million in 2023.

The City of Montreal is therefore demanding that Quebec make up the deficit financing of the STM in 2023 and 2024 as well as the structural deficit of the ARTM pending discussions on a new financing framework, a possibility “more urgent than ever”.

“[In addition to the STM] , the municipalities of the CMM are also doing their part by increasing their basic contribution to the ARTM by 4% for 2023. But cities and users cannot bear the burden of adequate funding for public transit alone. today and tomorrow. And this, in a context where our public transport networks must adjust to new travel habits of users and where they constitute an important element of the response to achieving our climate objectives,” concludes Dominique Ollivier.< /p>

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