The provincial government’s decision to hike municipalities’ financial contributions for recycling by 7.5 per cent is getting a poor reception in the West Island as most of the eight demerged cities have passed resolutions opposing the legislation.
Currently, 100 per cent of the municipal costs for recycling are reimbursed by the province. However, some of the material found in the bins like paper, cardboard, plastics, glass bottles are matters the government considers should not end up in the bin and are labelled incompatible materials. They still have to be treated by the cities though and they account for 15 per cent of total materials.
The government’s draft regulation proposes to share equally between businesses and municipalities the costs associated with the recovery of such materials, hence the 7.5 per cent hike for municipalities.
The proposed legislation was published in Quebec’s official gazette on Jan. 9 and a 60-day public consultation period had begun then. The enactment of the regulation is scheduled for sometimes this spring according to Environment Ministry spokesperson Sophie Roy.
Beaconsfield would lose $15,912 if the government was to go ahead with the proposed change. Mayor David Pollock is firmly opposed to the idea.
“I think this action should be opposed, as it is a reduction in contribution that Quebec provides to our municipality. They should be providing more funds, not looking for ways to unilaterally reduce their contribution to cities,” he said last week.
In Pointe Claire, $30,000 would be lost by the city. City clerk Jean-Denis Jacob says taxpayers will see the effect of this loss on their tax bill and is not impressed by the government’s attitude.
“From what I know, there is opposition from the whole of municipalities in Quebec. The government encouraged municipalities and citizens to recycle but at the same time, by not guaranteeing the amounts of monetary help are changing the rules of the game without negotiations or discussions,” he said.
Dollard des Ormeaux Mayor Ed Janiszewski was more nuanced when he spoke of the legislation last Friday. He claims his administration will do every it can to ease things up financially for taxpayers.
“Our goal is to not augment the property taxes. We have to find ways to spend less. We don’t like hikes like this, they are difficult to sell to our taxpayers. It will show up on the residents’ tax bills but we’re working on our end to lower our costs and spend less every Monday morning,” he said.