Millions of Dollars in the Trash by Quebec Government

by hunter_c on February 8, 2016 - 10:44pm

The Montreal Gazette posted an article on January 31st, 2016 by Linda Gyulai entitled, “The city of Montreal's $10-million office relocation” which exemplifies the “deep pockets” of Montreal as the author puts it. Montreal citizens will end up paying upwards of $10 million dollars to turn an empty building in Côte-des-Neiges into a new building for the Montreal Fire Department. Almost half of that $10 million has been spent on renovations in the building, since the structure has been empty for a number of years, and was bought by the city in 2011. The contract for the renovation work has received its stamp of approval from the Coderre administration in the middle of January 2016, and upon that approval, the city of Montreal decided to relocate 80 employees who work for the fire department to another building in Rosemont that the city described as “old” and “obsolete.” 

Keep in mind that the $10-million-dollar budget doesn’t cover the cost to furnish this entire building, not only that but the city also plans on completely renovating the building in Rosemont. According to Jacques-Alain Lavallée, the city has already spent over $500,000 on renovating the heating and ventilation system in the Rosemont building since 2011. Moreover, according to Westmont Mayor, Peter Trent, all this spending is a direct result of the city’s lack of a “master plan” for its municipal buildings. He further argues his point with this quote, “They’re essentially moving out of one place (and) spending $10 million on a new place without really knowing what’s going to happen to the old one.” Additionally, Trent wrote to Mayor Denis Coderre about this issue and has yet to receive a reply.

Furthermore, the city of Montreal has multiple projects going on at the same time in regards to its municipal buildings that add up to approximately $240 million dollars. In short, it’s frustrating to see so much taxpayer money go to projects that don’t seem to be well thought out. As someone who grew up in a lower-middle-class household, it was hard seeing so much of my mother’s paycheck be deducted to go to seemingly useless things like this when we could have used the money for food, medication, clothes, etc. Additionally, as someone who makes minimum wage now, it’s frustrating to see around $100 be taken off every paycheck (keep in mind, that’s 10 hours of work) to be put into haphazard projects that essentially only benefit the government and not the people.

We tend to believe that we don’t have a voice, but we do. Peter Trent had the right idea of writing to the Coderre administration, and although he didn’t receive a reply the government can’t ignore everyone. Making ourselves heard is a step in the right direction.

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