Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Montreal's Template For Failure

Former mayor Jean Drapeau led the way by approving the grandiose Olympic Stadium with little input from anyone. Photograph by: ALLEN MCINNIS, THE GAZETTE, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

Radio-Canada's mid-day radio program devoted an hour and a half last week to an excellent question: How can Montreal emerge from its inertia? The host noted the many recent projects that have been stalled - among them the Griffintown development, the CHUM hospital and UQAM's Voyageur campus - and asked a dozen prominent Montrealers how to fix this sense of stagnation.

The most common response by the guests - who included academics, economists, pundits, and politicians - was that it was essential to simplify municipal government (with its four tiers of borough councils, city council, agglomeration council, and metropolitan council). They're right. But heavy municipal government is not the central problem. Indeed, this huge structure needs to be seen as the fruit of the underlying problem: the weakness of our system of checks and balances.

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