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No to forced municipal mergers!

Written by Thérèse Tardif on Thursday, 01 March 2001. Posted in Politics

A 77% tax hike in the megacity of Toronto A $305 million deficit following the merger

Mergers imposed by the PQ

In the night of December 20, 2000, the Parti Quebecois voted into law. Bill 170 that imposes the merger of the 28 towns on the island, to create only one megacity of Montreal: one island, one city. This is to take effect on January 1, 2002. On the same day, four other megacities will be created: Quebec City (the amalgamation of 8 towns), Longueuil (the merger of 8 towns on the South Shore), Lévis (the merger of 10 towns), and Hull-Gatineau (the merger of 5 towns). All of this, despite the almost unanimous protest of all the mayors and of the population concerned; despite petitions and referendums in which over 90% of the population took part and said they were opposed; despite huge demonstrations in Montreal - over 75,000 people - and in other cities all over the province; and despite the warnings from MLAs of Ontario, and the disastrous example of tax hikes in Toronto and Ottawa.

Although Premier Bouchard stated that it's impossible not to save money with these mergers, the Montreal daily Le Devoir reported a year ago that a confidential research paper by Quebec's Municipal Affairs Department projected that an islandwide merger would actually increase taxes, not only in most suburbs, but also in the city of Montreal itself. Instead of admitting the reality that mergers would not reduce taxes, Quebec's Municipal Affairs Department says that all supporting documents will be kept classified for 25 years, the legal limit. (If any study existed that proved some savings could be done, the PQ Government would have hastened to make them public.)

In St. François de Sales, before its merger with Laval, people paid $175 in property taxes on a bungalow. The year after the merger, the tax bill had increased to $600. And now, on the same bungalow, they pay $3,500 in property taxes, without extra services; just like before the merger, there are no sidewalks nor sewage system.

Deception in Ontario

In Ontario, which was the inspiration for the Parti Quebecois government's męgacity dogma, two of that province's boldest merger projects are now in financial soup. Three years after its creation, the megacity of Toronto announced in February 2001, a $305-million budget shortfall, which could bring a 77% tax hike over the next five years and cutbacks in services. This prompted Toronto's mayor Mel Lastman to say: "There's no two ways about it, amalgamation has turned out to be a disaster."

According to Andrew Sancton, a professor at the University of Western Ontario, the evidence tends to suggest that the larger the municipality, the more money is spent per capita.

When campaigning in Ottawa's election last fall, the two strongest candidates for mayor both promised tax cuts of $200 or more. Now, unless the province does more to help pick up the bill, the winner, Bob Chiarelli, is warning of possible tax increases of about $400. Mergers, an edified Mayor Chiarelli says, are not cost savers. So this is what we can expect in Quebec, if we are fool enough to apply these municipal mergers against the will of the people.

Here are excerpts from an article of Jean-Simon Gagné, published in the March 31, 2000 issue of the Quebec City daily, Le Soleil:

Members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario issued a strong warning against municipal mergers: "One must stop presenting mergers as cost savers. It is often the opposite that takes place." This is the heartfelt cry from half a dozen Ontarian MLAs who were invited in Quebec City on March 30, 2000, on the occasion of the 10th general assembly of the Ontario-Quebec Association of MLAs, and who draw a dark picture of the new megacity of Toronto. Two years after its creation, the enthusiasm of several MLAs of Ontario for municipal mergers has cooled down... These MLAs agree on one point: "It is illusory to merge municipalities, and expect to save money... Once all the collective agreements are standardized, the new city ends up with a larger bill." "In Toronto, there was neither downsizing of employees nor of costs," says Gary Carr, speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly. His colleague, Jean-Marc Lalonde, MLA for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell is in full agreement: "One must stop saying it saves money. It rather brings about tax increases."

John O'Toole, MLA for Durham-East, said: "The bigger, the less accountable. Once they exceed a certain size, governments become less efficient. Mergers are orchestrated by bureaucrats who want to increase their power. Citizens are completely lost. Even the mayors and councillors have no longer the time to tackle all of the problems."

No respect for democracy

What is most shocking, as regards the freedom of expression and democracy, is that Premier Lucien Bouchard put a gag on debates to make sure to have Bill 170 voted into law before the holidays. What was the hurry? This is one of the dirty tricks of the government to give people a good ticking-off just before the holiday season, when people are more preoccupied with preparing the festivities for Christmas and New Year's Day. What a disgusting Christmas gift: to impose the straitjacket of municipal mergers to people who are freedom lovers....

This is the kind of legacy that Bouchard chose to leave to the citizens of Quebec before leaving politics. This is incredible in our province of Quebec, where political leaders have always prided themselves on respecting and applying democracy, It is incredible to be led by such a dictatorship. And this dictatorship does not have a local origin: it comes from the promoters of a one-world government, who have decided to rule the globe, and put every nation under their supervision.

The meeting in Davos in 1997

It is neither Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard nor Quebec Municipal Affairs Minister Louise Harel who conceived this plan of municipal mergers. They just carry out the orders of a plan drawn by the tycoons of High Finance. When he was first elected Premier in Ontario, Mike Harris was against mega-mergers, but suddenly decided to impose them. He too followed orders. We pay our elected representatives, but they do not serve us nor take their orders from us; they are at the service of the one-worlders, and they want to stick municipal mergers in our throats at any cost.

In February of 1997, about a thousand political leaders and heads of the biggest corporations in the world met in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss globalization. The theme of the meeting was: "To build the network of global society." They stressed the need for municipal mergers to create megacities all over the world.

In Quebec, the municipal mergers announced last December are only a beginning. Next year, mergers are to take place in other areas: St-Jérôme, Chicoutimi-Jonquière, Alma, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Thetford Mines, Saint-Georges, Matane. 407 municipalities will be merged into 177 municipalities by next year.

The citizens, who must be served by their governments, have difficulty in making themselves heard by federal and provincial governments. Until now, they could at least rely on municipal governments, who, with small towns, are close to the citizens. However, with the new megacities and a world government, people will have no way to make themselves heard.

A tornado on Quebec

These municipal mergers are an unheard-of upheaval, as if a tornado has struck our province; an upheaval in municipal structures and rules. Whether you like these mergers or not, it is the law, and you must abide by it. They acted no differently in the Communist Soviet Union.

As you can see in the text of Msgr. Shooyans ("The world government denounced in the Vatican", page 16), the philosophy behind the Earth Charter of a future world government sees all religions - but particularly the Catholic faith - as obstacles to progress. This is why there is so much propaganda by Marxist and godless organizations to make disappear any reference to God or to the saints, like prayer at the beginning of town-hall meetings, or the names of towns with saints. They prepare a secular and godless society with secular schools, to chase God and all religions from our nation. It will be a return to paganism and all of its violence, with horrors and killings. One should not forget that Christianity is the guardian of peace and civilization in our country.

The plan of the Financiers for a world government includes the replacement of cash by electronic money, in the form of a microchip under the skin for every human being, without which no one will be able to buy nor sell, to be able to control individuals even more. The Financiers create poverty in nations by keeping money tight, so that people will accept to sacrifice their freedom and faith in order to obtain a loaf of bread that the world government will consent to give them.

One must mobilize every person of good will in our country against this dictatorship. The first step is to denounce this dictatorship, and all that will lead to a world government, by distributing, in every home of the nation, the "Michael" leaflets. Cover your areas, and subscribe to our "Michael" Journal. You will then learn how the real power in our country lies in the banks and big Financiers, who control even our governments, and how this could be changed, by implementing an honest debtfree money system, which could allow every citizen to receive a guaranteed annual income, from the cradle to the grave, based on cultural inheritance of progress and on the natural resources of the nation.

Let us mobilize everyone, but let us also mobilize God and all His saints in Heaven. Without God, we shall never overcome, but with Him, everything is possible.

Let us pray the Rosary every day. Pope John Paul II says it is his favourite prayer, since it summarizes all of the Gospel and the life of Our Lord. Prayer will make us invincible against the forces of evil.

No to a godless world government! No to forced municipal mergers! We want security and freedom: freedom of speech, freedom of action, freedom of religion. As Pope John Paul II says, the human person, created in the image and resemblance of God, is the summit of creation, and is above everything on earth. Every institution, every government must be at the service of the human person. The family, based on indissoluble, marriage, must also be respected.

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