Opinion

MTL Blog’s take on Special Status

Below is a link to the MTL Blog website article mentioning special status as the way to help make Montreal a better city. Give it a read, share the article, and comment your thoughts!

 

www.mtlblog.com/2015/10/the-one-thing-justin-trudeau-can-do-to-make-montreal-a-better-city/#

A must-read about Special Status!

Click the link if you would like to read the opinion on the Gazette website.

 

montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/opinion-montreal-needs-special-status-to-stop-the-airports-decline-and-the-citys

 

Marvin Rotrand is partially right (“City responsible for ‘declined airport’ “ Montreal Gazette, Sept. 19): Montreal’s airport is on the decline and serves mostly tourist destinations. What he is incorrect about is his thinking that Montreal’s elected officials can effect change. If there were business activity, the airlines would be capitalizing on the opportunity to service the demand and create non-stop routes.

Montreal is a city experiencing a steady decline in international business. Last year, Mayor Denis Coderre refreshed Montreal International and positioned Jacques Ménard at the helm. Their websiteis active with many stories, but the unemployment figures in Montreal portray a much more stagnant reality.

What Rotrand and all the city councillors should be doing is clamouring for special status for Montreal. It is the best and only solution for distancing Montreal from the ongoing separation and language debates.

Special status would enable Montreal to take charge of its economic destiny. The powers Montreal needs include the ability to reduce taxes in certain areas of the city to attract and retain businesses, in particular, the manufacturing sector; a say in the distribution of the tax dollars that are earned and collected in Montreal; and an ability to tweak the language laws to attract top talent to Montreal, without being obliged to send their children to a French-only school.

As well, decision-making for infrastructure and development should no longer go through Quebec but be given to Montreal. We cannot continue to be slowed down by bureaucrats who have little knowledge or interest in Montreal.

Input on immigration would enable Montreal to attract the professionals and the skill sets that Montreal needs, not what others want to allocate to us.

Montreal [...]

  • CRITIQ was the catalyst for the special status for Montreal movement
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    Opinion: The idea of special status for Montreal is gaining ground

Opinion: The idea of special status for Montreal is gaining ground

Originally published in the Montreal Gazette on April 20, 2014.

BY KYLE GREGOR-PEARSE AND GARY D. SHAPIRO

What would it take to get back the Montreal of decades past?

The push for a meaningful special status for Montreal inside Quebec is a response to the never-ending threat of a referendum and the continual neglect of Montreal by provincial governments.

The notion of special status has shed its reactionary stigma in recent months, as more people embrace the potential benefits. Montreal represents a huge proportion of Quebec’s population, as well as its GDP, so it does not make sense for Quebec legislators to govern as if all regions were the same. Special status legally recognizes the uniqueness of Montreal; if implemented, it would provide a framework for customized legislation to meet the city’s special needs.

As stated in a recent study conducted by BMO in tandem with Boston Consulting Group, “Montreal doesn’t have the same instruments as other Canadian metropolises to exercise its authority. It has the powers of a rural municipality.” The same study recommends endowing Montreal with the rightful powers of a metropolis — including retaining and attracting talent from across the globe, fixing the city’s infrastructure, and promoting a unique Montreal.

Hong-Kong, Dubai, New York and Toronto are all cities that have achieved some form of special status, and are operating with increased autonomy vis-à-vis their regional governments. British Columbia has even passed province-wide legislation granting increased power to municipalities across the board.

Even Mayor Denis Coderre is on board — although he needs to support this concept more deeply and forcefully. He’s been quoted as saying that Montreal needs more powers to diversify its sources of revenue, so that it isn’t so heavily reliant on property tax. [...]

April 20th, 2014|Blog, Opinion|0 Comments|
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    Letter Re: Parents queuing for coveted French immersion spots

Letter Re: Parents queuing for coveted French immersion spots

Last Fall, I was visited here by my Vancouver niece with her husband and their two girls. I had not seen this family since Danica (who now is seven years old) was a crawling baby, and there was not yet a sister (who is now five). My whole family there has never lived or worked outside of Vancouver, and is cognizant of Quebec and language issues only through their own educational and professional, all English, experiences.

The highlight of the Montreal visit was a celebratory brunch for all of us: lovely downtown restaurant, three adults, and two beautiful, chattering little girls who were allowed to order their own grown-up menu lunch. A handsome grandfatherly waiter patiently attended this lot, and accorded the kids the deference that he gave to the adults. The parents and one little girl ordered in English, I ordered in half French and half English, and Danica ordered in French. I was astounded, the parents complimented her on this “immersion course” initiative. The waiter was totally seduced. I have never had better service in any Montreal restaurant.

Danica’s sister is on a waiting list for her immersion French course in Vancouver. She has been on that waiting list for four years. I am informed that the numbers quota for her entry time may be a problem. She may have to wait for a drop-out on the list.

Parents are taking the lead in telling us that Canada is not meeting its obligations of being a fully bilingual country. Here in Quebec, parents are making similar demands, or seeking private school placement for English education. It is time that we supported, and pushed, our politicians and educators for a truly bilingual education.

The issue of Bilingual [...]

April 11th, 2014|Blog, Opinion|0 Comments|