Demerger vote will change map of Quebec
Municipal maps are being redrawn in Quebec after 89 municipalities had their chance to demerge from megacities created under the former Parti Québécois government.
| The 35% Rule |
Two conditions must be met in order for the answer to the referendum question to be considered affirmative:
This 35% is calculated on the basis of the number of qualified voters registered on the referendum list and does not represent, for example, a percentage of the number of persons who voted.
Source: Directeur Général des élections du Québec
The municipal mergers were set up in 2002, creating boroughs with fewer powers.
The former mayor of Westmount, Peter Trent rejoiced with his demerger supporters on Sunday night as the referendum results were announced.
"In spite of the fact that the PQ merged us against our will, we got our city back!" he told a crowd of supporters.
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Montreal mayor and megacity advocate, Gérald Tremblay may have lost more than half of the former municipalities on the island, but he's managed to put a positive spin on the results.
"A total of 87 per centclose to 1.6 million citizenshave decided to choose Montreal. To those that decided to leave, I would like to say that I respect your decision which was a democratic choice," Tremblay said Sunday night.
The merger issue cost the PQ crucial votes in the last provincial election. When the Liberals took power, Premier Jean Charest promised Quebecers they would have a say on mergersalbeit with some complicated conditions.
Municipalities were only allowed to demerge if a majority of voters agreed to it and only if 35 per cent of all registered voters voted "yes."
They were conditions many municipalities in regions outside of Montreal failed to accomplish.
There is still a lot of work to be done before demerged cities can once again claim independence.The cities that voted "yes" will be able to claim official status in 18 months.
Transition committees and unions will now have to hammer out new employee contracts.
Pierrefonds, Ile-Bizard, Greenfield Park and Anjou are among those whose residents voted in favour of the status quo.
A minimum of 35 per cent of registered voters had to have voted "yes" for a demerger to be passed in one specific sector.
|The final results, with percentage of registered voters who voted "yes":|
|Source: Directeur Général des élections du Québec.|
Quebec's Chief Electoral Officer, Marcel Blanchet, says a total of 103,991 people voted in the advance poll held on June 13 and 14.
That's 10.61 per cent of the 979,744 persons registered on the referendum lists.