Letter to the editor 7, Jan 15, 2015

Dear Editor,

Bravo to Projet Montréal Leader Luc Ferrandez who wants to see the City of Montreal manage the real estate of school boards that would allow a more efficient use of the existing infrastructures. The official opposition claims that auditoriums, libraries and arenas are presently underused, and the merging of some city and school board services could benefit more people.

We should consider greater city involvement in our public school system, a practice that exists in other jurisdictions. Think of the cities of Lyon, Bordeaux and Marseille, in France, and Chicago and Boston in the U.S.

Last year, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume said that school boards and cities operate in a parallel manner; there is very little coordination, and often there is an unnecessary, costly duplication of services. Think about property and the ever-increasing school taxes that homeowners will receive in a few months.

Both taxes are based on property values. It doesn’t make much sense that homeowners receive two tax bills for one piece of property. Moreover, it is expected, in 2017, school board and municipal elections will be held the same time, in the hope to not only attract a larger voter turnout, but also to save money. Indeed, there are clear advantages, a synergy of sorts, with the merging of services between cities and school boards.

Chris Eustace

Pierrefonds

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