Montreal budget: eco-taxation seduces, the STM hole worries

“This budget goes in the direction of sustainable urban development,” underlines Christian Savard, general manager of the Vivre en ville organization. He thus applauds certain measures of the City, described as “surprises”, including the introduction of two eco-taxation measures, the taxation of parking lots and water for non-residential buildings.

The same goes for the Équiterre organization, whose director of government relations Marc-André Viau also approves of « a slightly more marked return to eco-taxation », specifying that « we are extending it to the entire city of Montreal”. According to him, “this shows that the City is tackling environmental issues”.

Mr. Viau nevertheless qualified his satisfaction, emphasizing that “we are not in the revolution; we do more catching up”.

Is sustainable mobility advancing?

On the other hand, the feelings of the two organizations are more mixed when we talk to them about mobility. For Vivre en ville, if the free offer offered to seniors is interesting, “we cast a little shadow on it” with the planned reduction in services offered by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). This gives Christian Savard the impression that “one undresses Pierre to dress Paul”.

Équiterre has the same concerns. On the one hand, the organization congratulates the City for the significant investments, which reach more than $400 million over the next decade, in the development of the bicycle network, its maintenance and the deployment of self-service bicycles. Marc-André Viau, however, says he is very concerned about the drop in service from the STM.

« It’s not a global improvement in sustainable mobility » if the City invests in active mobility, but reduces the amounts allocated to public transit, he says. “The potential drop in service would have a major impact on mobility. Reducing the service will reduce the number of users and increase the use of the automobile and, therefore, the traffic,” laments Mr. Viau.

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