A critical year to restore pre-pandemic momentum and encourage local investment

The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal has submitted its brief as part of pre-budget consultations with the Ville de Montréal. The Chamber believes that this exercise, which is in its third year, is important to help the Ville de Montréal understand the business community’s expectations and the potential impact of its budget decisions. The value of this exercise will depend on the consideration the Ville de Montréal gives to the opinions received.

The Ville de Montréal’s 2022 budget is the second developed against the backdrop of the pandemic. It must respond to the transition from a context of crisis to that of economic recovery, while pressures related to COVID-19 are still being felt on municipal finances. The Ville de Montréal must therefore shape this budget to reduce uncertainty and encourage private investment, a driver of the economy.

The Chamber calls for this budget to be the opportunity to align municipal spending with its main areas of expertise, improve the business environment, reaffirm Montréal’s position as a major international city, show agility in its processes, and foster innovation in its agencies.

The Chamber believes that the Ville de Montréal can succeed by being effective in three areas: investing in high-quality urban infrastructure and improvements; quickly developing land, and ensuring an efficient project approval process.

The Chamber has made the following nine recommendations:

Recommendation 1: Foster private investment and speed up approvals for real estate development projects:

  1. By focusing on measures that foster private investment and new real estate development projects, and re-evaluating measures that hamper them;
  2. By continuing to reduce the gap in property tax between non-residential and residential buildings to support business competitiveness during an economic crisis;
  3. By ensuring that property tax represents the fair value of the building, even in a bearish context, and paying particular attention to the situation downtown.

Recommendation 2: Accelerate the disbursement of budgets received from the provincial and federal governments for mandates or projects and increase the efficiency of local regulatory and approval processes.

Recommendation 3: Develop a plan to limit spending by the Ville de Montréal in areas that are within provincial and federal jurisdiction.

Recommendation 4: Increase the use of zero-cost environmental taxation measures according to the user-pay principle, ensuring the amounts collected facilitate the Ville de Montréal’s energy transition.

Recommendation 5: Accelerate the startup of projects that will increase Montréal’s appeal in terms of investment.

  1. Facilitate the launch of ambitious structuring projects (public transit projects, Namur-Hippodrome, Louvain-Est, Lachine-Est, Faubourgs area, and the Peel Basin).
  2. Leverage local innovation and know-how to shape the Montréal of the future by supporting experimental projects, making data more available, and facilitating the deployment of future areas of innovation.

Recommendation 6: Reaffirm Montréal as an international city as part of the relaunch.

  1. Prepare to host major events and innovative international conferences.
  2. Develop a strong, unifying, distinctive brand image for Greater Montréal and promote it in priority international markets.

Recommendation 7: Improve the quality of life of Montrealers through investments that increase the quality, effectiveness and durability of urban furniture and infrastructure.

Recommendation 8: Encourage balanced mobility within the city through the smooth integration of different modes of transit.

Recommendation 9: Improve access to, fluid movement within, and the attractiveness of downtown in a context of economic relaunch, by focusing on:

  • Improving the management of construction sites;
  • Maintaining a facilitative parking policy;
  • Increasing urban planning;
  • Maintaining efforts to streamline regulations, particularly for storefront businesses and restaurants, year-round.

Consult the PDF (in french only)

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