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Montreal’s white collar union, the syndicat des cols blancs de Montréal (CUPE), has launched the third phase of its campaign Montréal, fais une ville de toi! The campaign condemns the City’s shameless waste of money, resources and internal expertise. According to the Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal (CUPE), elected officials have chosen to close their eyes to these problems in order to safeguard their powers.

After the radio ads this spring and widespread postering and mass distribution of leaflets to citizens in both English and French throughout the summer, the white collar workers will launch a petition inviting Montrealers to demand changes to the City Charter. That is the message to Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay that was publicly launched this morning on more than thirty billboards across the city, with a focus on the area around the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.

The white collar workers have witnessed the consequences of the extreme division of the city into discrete little kingdoms, handed over to private sector interests with the all-too-familiar ensuing risks of collusion and malfeasance. They can see that Montreal taxpayers are far from getting their money’s worth, despite increases in taxes, tariffs, and fines of all kinds. The powerful, internationally competitive city that we had been promised is awash in budget deficits. Montreal still needs to become a reality.

Union president Monique Côté stresses that solutions do exist. “Both Gérald Tremblay and Jean Charest realize that by amending the City of Montreal charter, we could easily find a situation and encourage elected officials to work together to achieve economies of scale,” she explained.

She makes an urgent appeal for a review of the division of powers between the central city and the boroughs, which affects the quality of public services and constitutes a real money pit. “If nothing is done about this, the financial situation of Quebec’s metropolis will continue to erode. We urge the policymakers to be bold and act in the genuine interest of the people.”

The Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal (SFMM, CUPE-FTQ) is the largest municipal sector union in Quebec, representing more than 10,000 municipal and para-municipal white collar employees working for the City of Montreal, for the 14 reconstituted municipalities in the Montreal area, and for para-municipal corporations, including the Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau, the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montreal (SHDM), Corporation Anjou 80, Stationnement de Montréal, the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal (OMHM), and the private company Parc Six Flags Montréal SEC (La Ronde).