Montreal councillors to oppose borough budget freeze

An unexpected budget freeze for Montreal's boroughs has raised the ire of some city councillors.

Cuts could range between $1M and $2M for each borough

Interim Mayor Laurent Blanchard says without a budget freeze, the next administration would have come up about $200-million dollars short. (CBC)

An unexpected budget freeze for Montreal’s boroughs has raised the ire of some city councillors.

"In each of the boroughs, we have cuts ranging between 1 and 2 million dollars," says Anie Samson, borough mayor of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension

"What mandate gives you the right to cut money from each of our boroughs?" adds Samson, who is also a candidate with Denis Coderre’s team.

Earlier this year, former Mayor Michael Applebaum pledged to adjust boroughs’ budgets according to inflation.

But interim Mayor Laurent Blanchard says the decision was made with taxpayers’ best interests in mind.

Without the freeze, he said the next administration would be faced with a $200 million shortfall.

"With the numbers we were faced with, we felt it wasn’t our place to tell the next administration, ‘You’re going to raise taxes because that’s what you get,’" he said.

Projet Montréal's Richard Bergeron and Luc Ferrandez say they have plans to file a motion against the freeze.

Council meets again today, which will be the last time before the Nov. 3 municipal election.

The new administration will table the municipal budget between Nov. 4 and Jan. 31.