Board of Trade calls for fewer boroughs, councillors in Montreal

The Montreal Metropolitan Board of Trade says the government has an opportunity to trim the fat at Montreal City hall, and at the borough level, too.

The board has long been behind one of Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre's passion projects: getting a special metropolis status for Montreal, to allow the city more autonomy in decisions often up to the province.

Consultations on Bill 121—which would grant Montreal special status—wrapped up yesterday, with the Board's president telling the government 

"The business community welcomes this bill, which gives the City new powers in economic development," Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the MMBT, told the consultation committee.

He went on to say, according to a release from the MMBT, that the debate over granting metropolis status presents a chance to cut down on councillors, and boroughs.

"The [MMBT] has long been concerned about the city's organizational structure, and its agility," Leblanc said.

"A metropolis on the scale of Montreal's should be able to ensure a minimum of consistency in standards and regulations [from borough to borough]. We are of the opinion that the city center must have the control of a greater number of levers to ensure the smooth running of the metropolis, both economically and socially.

"The [MMBT] therefore invites the [provincial] government to grant the City of Montreal the powers to review its internal organization on its own."