Changes to Montreal tax hike?
Things are afoot at Montreal city hall as the mayor decides to take a few days off and the budget is about to be reviewed.
Gerald Tremblay`s right hand man, executive committee chairman Michael Applebaum tried to reassure Montrealers about Tremblay`s extra long weekend, reiterating it`s up to him if he`ll resign or not.
"It is normal, the city is not in crisis, there is no problem, the mayor has the right to take a few days off," Applebaum told reporters.
Applebaum said they`re also going back to the drawing board with the budget, to see if they can make the tax rate more digestable, after announcing only on Tuesday that the average hike would be just over 3%.
"It's very clear that citizens are frustrated.They feel that they've been robbed with everything that they've seen in the (Charbonneau) commission," Applebaum said.
"So what I'm looking at right now is the tax rate and what is the effects of lowering this tax rate when it comes to basic services to citizens, public security, public transit, snow removal, garbage collection and of course, the investments that we need to put into our water infrastructure system."
Leader of the second opposition Projet Montreal Richard Bergeron says it's a good decision but not to count our chickens before they hatch.
"It'a kind of a victory for us and for all Montrealers, for all taxpayers of Montreal. But before playing trumpets and all this, just wait to see if my interpretation is a good one," Bergeron said.
Louise Harel, leader of the official opposition Vision Montreal, said she was not impressed.
"It's always improvisation," Harel said, adding that in all her 28 years in politics, she's never seen anything like this.
"It's time, it's enough, it's time for another chapter."
Photo: Shuyee Lee/CJAD archives
Front page photo: The Gazette