The family motto of the Greyjoys in George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is “what is dead may never die.” It also happens to be perfect for Quebec separatists too, after the recent discussions about the future of separatism in Quebec. Now, we shouldn’t be playing the funeral march just yet. As Quebec Premier Philip Couillard has said, “an idea can never die.” And it appears that the dissatisfaction of some Quebecers hasn’t quite disappeared. Their grievances have only been transferred from Ottawa to their municipality, Montreal.
Mayor Denis Coderre unveiled a new funding formula for the city’s boroughs that calculates the amount of funding allocated to each borough based in part on how many feet of paved roadways they have. Of course, the funding is also supposed to cover swimming pools, civic centers, libraries, and other heavily trafficked public spaces. Of the 19 boroughs, 10 will see an increase in funding, and the remaining 9 will see a decrease.
Some borough mayors are raising concerns. The mayor of Anjou, Louis Miranda, told CBC that the 3 % increase his borough will receive is far from sufficient to make up for “years of underfunding.” Another borough mayor, Luc Ferrandez of Plateau Mont-Royal, questions the equity of this new formula. Under the new rules, Le Plateau Mont-Royal will receive the same funding as Lasalle, despite having 30,000 more citizens and up to 100,000 visitors a day. Coderre has tried to assure his mayors that, as long as they blindly comply, such issues as number of public events, businesses, population, and visitors will be taken into account.
This, however, hasn’t cooled the heels of mayors like Miranda and Ferrandez, and several are now rethinking the benefits of being part of the great metropolis of Montreal. Word is that Ferrandez is going to the province with separation on his lips saying, “the only place for [the plan] is in the garbage,” meaning that it’s time for the Plateau Mont-Royal to chart its own destiny, free from the tyranny of Montreal! Vive le Plateau, vive le Plateau libre!
With this attitude among some of the boroughs, Montrealers could be bound for another referendum. I don’t know if I’ll be a municipal separatist, but it will be entertaining to watch the negotiations develop. I hope as a student I’ll be able to vote .