Projet Montreal, urban mayors challenge borough budget reforms

A poster for the Projet Montreal campaign against borough budget reforms, branded as "Coderre reforms", which it alleges is making cuts to budgets for urban boroughs to appease Denis Coderre's electoral base in the suburbs.
Photo: Andrew Brennan

The official opposition says Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is playing to his constituents in the suburbs at the expense of the more urban boroughs.

Projet Montreal leader Richard Bergeron, along with Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie Mayor Francois Croteau and Plateau—Mont-Royal Mayor Luc Ferrandez, say they plan to fight back against the cuts coming to their ridings.

Nearly $30 million from the four most central boroughs is being cut, while about $16 million is being added to the four most decentralized, including Pierrefonds—Roxborough, Ahuntsic—Cartierville and LaSalle.

Bergeron is accusing the mayor of playing petty politics, even comparing Coderre to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford for rewarding his base in the suburbs at the expense of the urban ridings that didn't vote for him.

"Half of the elected people from Coderre's team [in the last election] were elected from these four [suburban] boroughs, 19 of 39, and only from Projet Montreal," said Bergeron.

"For the core city, which pays so much for this reform, these four boroughs elected 14 Projet Montreal candidates and no one from Dernier Coderre—no one, not even one.

"That is small politics—to [say to] people who voted against me 'I will force you to pay' and for the people who voted for me, they will be rewarded—that is small politics in the pure sense of the word."

Bergeron says his party will be staying on the offensive and will announce in the coming weeks how it plans to mobilize dissent towards the budget reforms.

As for Coderre, he calls the accusations "ludicrous."

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