Couillard attends official opening of 2015 UMQ Sittings
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.