Denis Coderre says if the federal government starts charging to use the Champlain bridge, tolls will have to go up everywhere.
"It will create a snowball effect and we will be forced to put them up everywhere," Montreal's mayor said during a trip to Quebec city. "When we put them up everywhere, it will weeken the downtown especially."
Coderre said under those circumstances, people will not longer want to head to the city's economic center.
He was referring to a report from Quebec's transport ministry, obtained by Radio-Canada, that says tolls on the Champlain bridge will lead to a spike in use at other surrounding crossings.
Though tolls on Champlain are unacceptable to Coderre, he says a compromise solution is always possible. "We need that meeting with the prime minister. It's not a wrestling match here."
The mayor says if the federal government continues to forge ahead with the idea, he will make it an election issue in 2015.
The conservatives currently hold no seats in or around Montreal