quebec-political-party-logosAs many of you have all heard by now, the subject of more autonomy for Montreal has been endorsed by the Bank of Montreal Financial Group and the Boston Consulting Group thanks to their non-partisan study Créer un nouvel élan à Montréal (Creating A New Momentum In Montreal). As we have been saying since day one, Montreal needs more autonomy and this report supports our purpose.

Jacques Ménard and Eric Brat have been in the news all week due to their 10-step plan for reviving Montreal. But, if you’ve been on the island and keeping up with politics, social and business networks, you know that this is an idea that also has the support of politicians with Montreal’s interests in mind.

Mayor Coderre endorses special status for our city and verbally expressed this since his mayoral campaign. Even Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau during his presentation at Concordia University on February 6 confirmed face-to-face with our Executive Director, Yaffa Tegegne, that he supports Montrealers’ desire to achieve special status.

CRITIQ’s question to Justin Trudeau:

You encourage youth to stand up against divisive politics. Here in Montreal we are at the crux of that issue and very frustrated. As a Montrealer and an MP representing Montreal how do you foresee Montreal will be able to prosper economically and compete with other Canadian cities in the future? Would you support special status for Montreal, exempting it from provincial legislation such as the proposed Charter which serves to divide people and hinder growth?

Justin Trudeau’s response:

Absolutely yes. I would support any exemptions for Montreal from the Charter of Values. Montreal is a wonderful city that deserves respect and deserves to grow and become a world city.

 

So, there you have it. Endorsements from key representatives at both the federal and municipal levels who believe that Montreal needs more power to succeed on the scale that major North American cities like New York, Boston, Toronto and Vancouver do.

So what about our politicians in the National Assembly? We’ve all been patiently waiting for Premier Pauline Marois to call an election this spring. Her opponents are already getting prepared for their campaigns, even though she hasn’t officially announced an election. But her plan to get a majority has been in the works since last year when the Parti Quebecois began proposing Bill 14 and Bill 60 to rally the support of the regions of Quebec. While the regions may have been the focus for the past several months, Montreal will be front and center during this election campaign.

Special status and the idea of a city-state (which are two separate ideas) has been growing in momentum among Montrealers. And with our billions of dollars in debt in Quebec, why not?

Let’s face the facts:

  • CRITIQ’s own Ipsos Reid poll shows that the majority of Montrealers AND Quebecers from the regions think Montreal needs to take drastic measures to revamp its image and economy. Read the data here in French: critiq.ca/pdf/IPSOS_Sondage_Sommaire.pdf

  • We experienced a massive exodus last year — 28,439 people relocated from Quebec to other provinces between January and September 2013.

  • No matter how much nationalists publically deny it, Montreal is not a “French city.” There are 200 languages spoken in Montreal (80% of Montrealers know at least two languages, 56% are bilingual, and 24% are trilingual).

  • Montreal has more university students per capita than Boston, yet, we have one of the lowest populations with university degrees. That means students get educated here, but then leave and take their education, talents and knowledge elsewhere.

We could go on and on citing data that supports why Montreal should be granted special status. But it’s not us that needs to be convinced.

What do you think about the concept of Montreal acquiring special status or a becoming a city-state? Will the PQ, Liberals or CAQ support Montreal special status? Leave us your comments below.