The fight to keep the Quebec government from forcing 13 municipalities on the island of Montreal to merge into one mega-city heads to the Supreme Court of Canada on Monday.

Lawyers for the municipalities are hoping to convince the country's top court to hear their case and keep the amalgamation from going ahead in the meantime.

The merger goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2002.

"We shall put forward that the going into effect of this law has an almost irrevocable effect once the cities cease to exist," said lawyer Julius Grey. "It's very difficult to even keep fighting."

The municipalities have already challenged the merger law in Quebec courts, and lost.

The municipalities and their lawyers hope the Supreme Court will issue a temporary injunction today.