Photo: Valérian Mazataud archives Le Devoir The first edition of the participatory budget, the vote for which took place in 2021, notably allowed the planting of microforests in five boroughs, like here, at Parc du Père-Marquette, in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie.
Montrealers have until October 29 to decide on the projects they would like to see carried out as part of the 2nd edition of the City of Montreal's participatory budget. With a budget of $30 million, this operation will lead to the creation of developments intended to improve travel safety, encourage physical activities or add green spaces on public lands.
The first edition of the participatory budget, the vote for which took place in 2021, notably enabled the planting of microforests in five districts, the installation of more than 125 water fountains in underserved sectors of the city and the creation of an ecological corridor in the South-West district. At the time, more than 20,000 people had voted for their favorite projects.
31 This is the number of selected projects, which will be put to a vote by the end of the month, among 650 proposals and ideas received.
The City of Montreal is doing it again this year. After receiving more than 650 proposals and ideas, it selected 31 projects, which will be put to a vote by the end of the month. This time, the proposals touch on the themes of youth, equity and security. For example, the City is proposing the development of six circuits closed to automobile traffic in as many boroughs to allow young people to learn the safe practice of cycling. Other projects involve the construction of basketball courts in nine boroughs, the development of wifi stops in public places or the transformation of parks with the addition of sports equipment intended for people with reduced mobility of all ages.
The value of the projects varies from $500,000 to $5 million when they are intended for a single location, but the budget of certain projects can reach $10 million if they can be carried out in several boroughs.
“The spirit of the participatory budget is to ask people which projects they want these sums to be directed towards in order to meet their aspirations,” explains the head of town planning, citizen participation and democracy. on the executive committee, Robert Beaudry. “We’re giving power back to the community. Democratic power is not just about elections every four years, it is continuous. »
The projects selected following the vote will be revealed in November. The City undertakes to launch the necessary work within two years. “We have to make plans and quotes, launch calls for tenders and, sometimes, the prices do not correspond to the estimates we had made and we have to go back to a call for tenders,” points out Robert Beaudry to explain the deadlines for the completion of the work.
As for the projects which will not be retained in the current vote, they could still see the light of day anyway, believes the elected official. “A borough could decide to carry out a project from its budget or to seek other types of financing,” he says.
Montrealers aged 12 and over will be able to vote for a maximum of eight projects by October 29 by visiting the City’s website. Montreal is already planning to hold a third edition of the participatory budget which, this time, will have a budget of $45 million.
Inspired by a concept born in 1989 in Porto Alegre, participatory budgets made their debut in Quebec 17 years ago. The Plateau-Mont-Royal district held a first participatory budget in 2006. Since then, around thirty municipalities and districts, including Saint-Basile-le-Grand, Baie-Saint-Paul, Boisbriand, Nicolet and Rimouski, took part in the exercise.