Don’t hold your breath for a merger of island towns on Île-Perrot, local mayors say.
They were reacting to a statement from Pincourt Mayor Yvan Cardinal, who said last week it could be more efficient to delivers services on the island if it were just one city.
“It’s only the business community that has been talking about this for the last 20 years,” said Marie-Claude Nichols, the mayor of Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot. “What (advantages) will it bring? Absolutely nothing.”
Nichols said despite some support in political and business circles, the majority of citizens, at least in her town, don’t support the idea of a merger.
“Our towns are pretty distinct,” she said.
Cardinal said Pincourt is highly reliant on residential property taxes for its revenue.
Merging the towns on the island would allow all residents to benefit from the large commercial sector, located in the town of Île-Perrot.
Nichols said her town is also highly reliant on property taxes. Even though there is a small industrial sector in N.D.I.P., property tax makes up about 95 per cent of the total tax revenue, she said.
“There’s a really good rapport between the towns now,” she said. “I think the mayors on the island prefer to do co-ordinated action, like the Régie des équipements en loisir de l’Île-Perrot, (which was formed in 2012 to develop programs or projects and combines the towns of Île-Perrot, N.D.I.P., Pincourt and Terrasse-Vaudreuil).”
She added that with emergency services like fire safety, a merger wouldn’t make a big difference.
“Now, if there is a fire in N.D.I.P., but the Pincourt station is closest, it’s Pincourt that will respond first.”
Nichols said she doesn’t fear the provincial government will go through the hassle of forcing a merger, since the last time it did that, with the island of Montreal in 2001, it didn’t result in significant savings, but made a larger portion of the population quite angry at the Parti Québécois government.
For her part, Terrasse-Vaudreuil Mayor Manon Trudel said a merger is a non-starter.
“For the moment, that’s not something we are considering,” she said.
She added the town would consider a merger if one were proposed, but wouldn’t act against the will of citizens.
Marc Roy, the mayor of Île-Perrot, was also cool to the idea.
“It’s not something we’re considering at the moment; it’s something that would have to wait at least until after the election next year,” he said.