Lachine mayor notes that option “is always there if negotiations fail”
By Kevin Woodhouse
While Anjou Mayor Luis Miranda is launching a petition to collect 25,000 signatures in the hopes of de-merging from Montreal due to improper funding from the central city, Lachine Mayor Claude Dauphin finds talk of de-merger a little “premature right now.”
Dauphin made no secret in the last municipal election when he campaigned on getting both of the borough’s budgets, operational and capital works, better funding to take care of Lachine’s challenges and, if negotiations fail between Lachine and Montreal, using the demerger option with the citizenry since that tool “is always there if negotiations fail,” Dauphin told The Suburban.
But since Dauphin is actively negotiating with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre on improving the borough’s capital works budget, he thinks playing the de-merger card is not the right move right now.
Montreal has awarded Lachine $200,000 for its operating budget this year and steps are being made for the capital works since “80 per cent of our 55 public buildings are historical structures” which require expertise and money for repairs.
“During last fall’s election campaign, citizens would ask me how long was I willing to negotiate and wait for Montreal to come through for us,” said Dauphin. “I told them two years and right now, the Coderre administration hasn’t been in power for a year so going the petition option would be a little premature at this juncture.”
Dauphin noted that debates on more equitable financing between the boroughs and the city of Montreal will resume this fall. While Dauphin plans to continue working in good faith with the Coderre administration and maintaining his time frame, “we will discuss the de-merger option if I feel we are going nowhere.”
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