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2018 Quebec Union of Municipalities Conference
Gatineau, May 17, 2018. – On the occasion of the 2018 conference of the Quebec Union of Municipalities, the government announced its intention to implement a new form of taxation with municipalities in the renewal of the Accord de partenariat avec les municipalitées (partnership agreement with the municipalities), which expires in 2019.
This new partnership will provide an opportunity to address revenue diversification, including the full payment of property taxes for government buildings. Furthermore, considering that the Government of Québec already transfers nearly $1.3 billion to municipalities every year—the equivalent of one percent of the current QST—the government is committed to formalizing a transfer of a percentage of consumption taxes, and to analyzing various models in order to find a lasting solution to reduce dependence on property taxes and to leverage economic growth.
The Premier also spoke of a second call for projects for the Québec Branché program. Funding would amount to $200 million, that is, twice as much as was planned during the first call for projects. Moreover, it was announced that the projects could deal with cell phone services in unserved and underserved regions or areas. The terms will be set over the coming months.
Finally, sustainable mobility was a key theme in the Premier’s address. Québec’s first sustainable mobility policy was recently unveiled and several major structuring projects were launched in Québec over the past year.
Recognizing municipalities as actual local governments was just the first step. Our government’s next mandate is to provide municipalities with a set of tools that suits their needs and their independence. Among other things, this will involve a new form of taxation for municipalities. Municipal taxation is in need of an electroshock. Our government has never been afraid of challenges, and it is ready to rise up to them with its municipal partners.
– Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec
As we have modernized the relationship between the government and municipalities, we now have to think ahead by relying on the foundation that we have already built. The new partnership agreement, based on creativity, will enable us to innovate even more and will allow municipalities to diversify their sources of revenue. This new form of taxation will be in line with municipal autonomy and the various municipalities’ specific realities.
– Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Montréal region
- Since 2014, the Government of Québec has taken many actions to transform the municipal sector, including:
- Following up on the Perrault Report with the Politique gouvernementale de consultation et de simplification administrative à l’égard des municipalités (government consultation and administrative simplification policy regarding municipalities) and the Plan d’action gouvernemental pour alléger le fardeau administratif des municipalités (government action plan to reduce municipalities’ administrative burden);
- Passing a bill that modernizes working relationships with municipal employees;
- Recognizing the Ville de Québec’s national capital status and the Ville de Montréal’s metropolis status;
- Recognizing municipalities as true local governments and increasing their autonomy;
- Implementing the Fonds d’appui au rayonnement des régions;
- Unveiling the new Government strategy to ensure the occupancy and vitality of territories;
- Quebec’s sustainable mobility policy is comprised of investments of more than $9.7 billion, including $2.9 billion for new investments. This is the first time in Quebec history that a policy has ever been so integrated and comprehensive. The policy addresses all modes of transportation, both for merchandise and for people, including those with a mobility impairment. It applies to Montréal, Québec City and all the regions. It addresses public transit, active transportation, as well as marine, air, rail and road transportation. We believe that all Quebecers and all families, regardless of their situation, should be able to travel throughout Québec quickly, safely and at an affordable cost. This has a direct impact on their quality of life, since less time on the road means more time spent with their families and loved ones.