The opening of the congress of the Union des municipalités du Québec offered a very clear demonstration of the standoff that is intensifying, on a host of issues, between the Legault government and the elected officials of the cities.
After the incendiary statements of Mayor Bruno Marchand the day before, about urban sprawl and the third link, we felt the annoyance of Prime Minister François Legault.
Describing the arguments of the CAQ government as fallacious, the mayor had also described his speech as "dangerous populist".
Supported by the president of the UMQ and the mayor of Montreal, Mr. Marchand added yesterday, stressing that it was necessary to be able to “think outside the box”.
Through little jokes where he spoke of “densifying” his relationship with the mayor of Quebec, the prime minister also hinted that it was easier to work with Régis Labeaume.
When we know how much the latter and the government were like dog and cat, the message is unequivocal.
The previous mayor of Quebec, Régis Labeaume, did not fail to emphasize, during the speech following the tribute paid to him, to what extent the fight for the autonomy of cities has only just begun.
This will be particularly true after the next election, if the projections conferring an even larger majority on the CAQ come true.
The double-locking expressed by Mr. Legault in the face of a new taxation of cities suggests a fierce battle.
How can urban sprawl be effectively combated if cities continue to be able to rely almost exclusively on income from property taxes?
Then, an overwhelming majority of the CAQ would surely come with even more overt arrogance.
As if the government had the impression that it could do as it pleased on all fronts.
As proof, here is a statement by Minister Éric Caire yesterday at the National Assembly.
Called to comment on Bruno Marchand's statements the day before, he said: "We'll see, we're going to the elections, we'll see what the population thinks about it. »