Couil­lard at­tends of­fi­cial open­ing of 2015 UMQ Sit­tings

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

Pre­mier Philippe Couil­lard was present at the 94th an­nual sit­ting of the Union des mu­nic­i­palites du Que­bec (UMQ), the or­ga­ni­za­tion that would like a more equal part­ner­ship with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment and that would also like to see its pro­posed re­forms put into ac­tion.

“Since we are in ne­go­ti­a­tions for a new agree­ment, the com­mit­ment of the pre­mier in rec­og­niz­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties as prox­im­ity gov­ern­ments should re­sult in fis­cal and fi­nan­cial boosts which will al­low us to ex­er­cise our full au­ton­omy. We are three gov­ern­ments who are paid, we must be three gov­ern­ments who de­cide,” com­mented UMQ pres­i­dent, Sainte-Julie mayor Suzanne Roy, in front of more than a thou­sand del­e­gates and nu­mer­ous in­vited guests.

In agree­ment with the pri­or­i­ties ex­pressed by the UMQ pres­i­dent, the pre­mier reaf­firmed his com­mit­ment to in­tro­duce a bill on gov­ern­ments of prox­im­ity in the fall of 2016. He also firmly re­it­er­ated his will­ing­ness to lighten the ad­min­is­tra­tive load of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and to make sure they have the means to as­sume the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that have been trans­ferred to them. Be­sides con­fer­ring spe­cial sta­tus to the Me­trop­o­lis and the Na­tional Cap­i­tal, he wants to fi­nally sup­port the devel­op­ment of the re­gions, by shar­ing the li­cense fees from nat­u­ral re­sources with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

The UMQ also wel­comed the an­nounce­ment of the pre­mier of Que­bec to quickly pro­ceed with the sign­ing of the Build­ing Canada Fund (Small Com­mu­ni­ties). This agree­ment will per­mit the ini­ti­a­tion of dozens of mu­nic­i­pal projects ready to begin.

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