The City of Montreal has sweeping new powers in areas ranging from the economy to housing to immigration under provincial legislation passed Thursday in Quebec City.

Martin Coiteux, minister responsible for municipal affairs, said the law, which gives Montreal official status as a metropolis, represents "a new page in history."

Bill 121 was passed unanimously at the National Assembly. Under the new rules, the city will be able to:

  • Grant direct financial assistance or credits to businesses subject to certain conditions.
  • Set the opening hours of bars and shops on its territory.
  • Compensate merchants affected by infrastructure works, dating back to Dec. 31, 2015.
  • Intervene more easily in the case of deteriorated or unhealthy buildings.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, who had pressed for the designation, said it means the city will be "able to fully play its role as the engine of economic development and as the springboard of Quebec to the world."

More details on the legislation can be found here.