Coderre, mayors renew calls for special powers

From left: Denis Coderre, Peter Trent, Régis Labeaume, Suzanne Roy.
Patrick Lejtenyi/CJAD

There's been another call to have powers transferred from the provincial government to the province's largest cities.

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre repeated his call for special powers, standing alongside his Quebec City counterpart Régis Labeaume, who once again suggested they need additional powers in order to compete in an increasingly globalized world, and agreed the current way Quebec governs cities is outmoded.

"We have to play a better and a bigger role internationally," Coderre says. "I'm going to go to New York in April, to seek more new investment here, but to do so, we just cannot say, 'oh, wait, I have to go to the National Assembly to see if I have the right tools so I can promise something."

Coderre and Labeaume were joined at City Hall by Westmount mayor Peter Trent and the mayor of Ste-Julie, Suzanne Roy — who all agreed they need more power to attract investment, deal with transportation issues and a host of local issues they encounter daily.

"It's in Quebec's interest that they give us more power, very simply because we can do the job better," Trent says. "The bureaucrats in Quebec City don't understand the complexities of this metropolis, so why should we have to go through them to do what is right for our metropolis?"

Premier Pauline Marois has already agreed to rethink the laws, and Coderre says he is looking forward to meeting with the other party leaders in the near future.

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