Côte St. Luc councillors Glenn Nashen and Ruth Kovac visibly grimaced during a council meeting, when it came time to approve the city’s annual contribution to the Montreal Metropolitan Community.
The MMC, created in 2001, represents and speaks for the entire Greater Montreal Region and develops plans, programs and strategies for the community in that area.
Each year, Côte St. Luc council members declare that they are reluctantly and grudgingly paying the bill, pointing out that it is required by provincial law. This year’s payment is $508,000, paid in two installments. Each year, at least two councillors symbolically vote against the payment.
“This year’s payment is a three percent increase over last year,” said Councillor Steven Erdelyi, who introduced the resolution to make the payment. “My personal opinion is we don’t get the value for that money. They do produce some very good reports, and they are helpful on some fronts, but not to the extent of the money we’re paying them.”
Councillor Glenn Nashen, who with Kovac enthusiastically voted against the resolution, called for a discussion on the MMC between different levels of government.
“We don’t see the true value of this extra layer of unelected representation,” Nashen added. “In this day and age, we should look at how to get better value for our money, and it really behooves our MNA, David Birnbaum, the provincial government and the City of Montreal to sit around the table and figure out a better method of providing the services, but for much better value.”
Kovac said the semi-annual MMC report is nice but is only in French.
(We checked and some MMC paperwork is in English. The MMC’s website is mostly in French, except for five documents that can be seen on the site and downloaded. There is no English section per se on the site.)
We mentioned Côte St. Luc’s grievance to Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, as he is also president of the MMC.
“You won’t have a fight between Côte St. Luc and myself,” the mayor told The Suburban.