Anjou mayor says he won't pay for clearing streets without approval

The decision to start clearing the streets on Wednesday — compared to the city, which started on Sunday — was a matter of safety, the mayor said. Luis Miranda said he expects that price tag to be between $200,000 and $300,000, but isn't planning on paying up.

Luis Miranda says the decision was a matter of safety

Luis Miranda has been the mayor of Anjou since 1997. He made the costly decision to start clearing snow and ice without the central city's approval. (Radio-Canada)

Anjou Mayor Luis Miranda says his decision to start removing snow and ice on the streets before getting the central city's permission was a matter of public safety.

"Our streets were mired," Miranda said. "As mayor I am responsible for the security of my constituents."

After last week's freezing rainfall, Anjou streets were so treacherous that paramedics had to take a detour to access a home where someone had called 911, he said.

In an email exchange provided to CBC News, a civil servant from the central city informed the borough that going rogue would be costly — Anjou would be on the hook for the entire price tag. 

Miranda said he expects the bill to be between $200,000 and $300,000, but he isn't planning on paying up.

The central city announced its snow removal operation on Saturday. Jean-François Parenteau, the executive committee member in charge of citizen services, apologized for not making a plan to clear the snow earlier.

Crews began removing the snow and ice Sunday night at 7 p.m. As of Tuesday afternoon, 61 per cent of the streets were cleared.

Calling for borough-specific snow removal

Miranda has been a vocal critic of the city's decision to centralize snow removal, a decision that was made by the Coderre administration.

He said he believes it's impossible to paint the whole island with one brush because not every borough deals with the same circumstances.

After last week's freezing rainfall, Anjou streets were so treacherous that paramedics had to take a detour to access a residence from which a 911 call had been made, mayor Luis Miranda said. (Alain Béland/Radio-Canada)
He wants the current administration to rethink the notion of centralizing services.

"They're more receptive to listen to what we have to say than ... Coderre. Coderre was his way or no way."

Miranda added that he does not want to blame the Valérie Plante-Benoit Dorais administration, but that he believes Jean-François Parenteau, the city councillor in charge of services to citizens, didn't do his job properly.

"Boroughs are in the best position to locally manage this operation, and to give better services for what's happening there."

With files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak and Radio-Canada