A HISTORIC TURNING POINT FOR MUNICIPALITIES
Quebec, June 15, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ — The government of Quebec today welcomes the passing of Bill 122, An Act Mainly to Recognize that Municipalities are Local Governments and to Increase Their Autonomy and Powers. With this bill the government follows through on its promise to recognize municipalities as local governments. The bill entails the most significant decentralisation of power to the municipalities ever seen in the history of Quebec. It removes a series of obstacles faced by municipalities in the exercise of their powers and contributes to reinforcing the role of citizens in local decision-making.
“Since coming into office, our government has worked with municipalities, respecting their expertise, in the spirit of partnership and mutual trust. The adoption of this bill is a turning point in the relations between the government and municipalities. It contributes to the enhancement of municipal democracy and strengthens the central role of elected officials and citizens in the exercise of that democracy. In addition to giving more freedom and flexibility to municipalities, this legislation puts citizens at the heart of the decision-making process, most notably by recognizing the importance of consultation and citizen participation. This is another promise that our government has kept. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who work on a daily basis for the economic and social development of our municipalities.”
Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister Responsable for the region of Montréal
- The bill formally recognized the status of municipal governments. This being done, municipalities are given more autonomy and powers in the following areas:
- Land use planning
- Economic Development
- Transparency and information for citizens
- Taxation and municipal finance
- Governance and authority
- More specifically, this legislation recognizes the importance of citizen consultation and participation: a municipality may be exempted from the referendum process if it adopts a policy of public participation in conformance with regulations to be announced.
- These regulations will be based on the objectives outlined in the Report on Citizen Participation in Regional Planning and Development by Jean-Paul L’Allier, Denis Boutin and Sébastien Laprise.
- In addition, among the provisions in this bill, note the measures that will allow municipal councils more latitude in their jurisdiction over such matters as credit, borrowing, remuneration of elected officials and the awarding of contracts. As a result, elected officials will be more accountable to their electorate for their decisions. Finally, the legislation will improve the transparency of municipal decision-making, notably by requiring that the adoption of any by-law be preceded by the presentation of a draft by-law.
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