MONTRÉAL, Oct. 19, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - At a time when the City of Montréal is trying to revive its downtown core, when it must balance its budgets and is asking for increased financial assistance from governments to tackle the housing crisis in particular, the question arises as to what role it wants the private sector to play. With this in mind, Devimco Immobilier and Groupe Mach are hoping that the next mayor of Montréal will work closely with businesses to revitalize Québec's metropolis and reduce the financial pressure on taxpayers.
This same request also concerns all Québec municipalities that are facing post-pandemic challenges and have limited resources to carry out their development projects.
Serge Goulet, President of Devimco Immobilier, and Vincent Chiara, President of Groupe Mach, raised the issue today, the day after the debate between the leaders of Montréal's municipal parties organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal.
"We are asking to be treated as true partners who can contribute to the revival of the City of Montréal," said Mr. Goulet and Mr. Chiara. "The private sector must be viewed as a solution. We have the necessary resources to take part in, among others, soil decontamination, heritage restoration, park development and public transit system improvement."
For these entrepreneurs, more active participation by the private sector would be one of the solutions to the City of Montréal's financial challenges and would be excellent news for Montrealers. "Our contribution would enable taxpayers to breathe a little easier, families to access property with less difficulty, and businesses to thrive," they explained. They believe the real victims of the current situation are citizens who pay too much tax, families that cannot find housing or become homeowners, and businesses that lost customers during the pandemic.
They added that in recent years, the municipal sector has often deprived itself of companies' expertise and capital by not really involving them in their consultation process. "In many cases, private-sector representation has been weak or non-existent. Worse still, the consultation process did not bring the desired results, because the cities accepted only the recommendations that aligned with their vision."
They continued: "We work in the interest of the communities and we want to play an active role. We all want them to be vibrant, dynamic and prosperous. Our interest goes beyond our personal concerns: it is in the common interest and necessary for the municipalities to flourish. We need to think in terms of win-win solutions, because it is possible to accommodate everyone's interests.
"Cities must adopt an inclusive, equitable and transparent approach," the signatories of this news release suggested. As an example, they noted that the Urban Development Institute of Québec, in a brief submitted this past summer on the future of Montréal's Bridge-Bonaventure sector, asked the City for fairer stakeholder representation and urged these stakeholders to engage.
"A convergence of the interests of the public and private sectors could make it possible to create a series of structure-enhancing, value-added projects that will foster the solidarity that is the strength of Montréal and Québec's other municipalities," they concluded. "Economic recovery is a collective responsibility. In short, we must ask ourselves the following question: Can municipalities succeed without the contribution of the private sector? The answer is self-evident."
SOURCE Devimco Immobilier
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