The MRMA is one of the oldest citizens’ groups in the Montreal area and continues a legacy begun in 1932 by the Citizens’ Association of TMR which was succeeded by the Property Owners’ Association. In 1972, the name was changed to the Mount Royal Municipal Association to include tenants in our membership.
Our mandate is to represent those who own or rent property in TMR, to preserve and improve services without frivolous or unnecessary expense. We are all volunteers who are not focused on the next election but have a more long term approach to the management of our town’s resources.
Taxation has always been one of our key concerns. We were part of the successful Taxe$Action alliance in 1998 and instigated a special TMR council meeting in 1999 to address the escalating long-term debt. We have been very active in both proposing and opposing major capital expenditures in the past. The construction of our library and the modified plans for the renovation of the arena are two examples of the former. Our opposition to converting the curling rink to an arena and to the construction of a new six million dollar Maison de Culture are examples of the latter.
Public safety, environmental concerns, monitoring major projects and town bylaws have been ongoing concerns of specific committees. In 1996 members of MRMA’s “Waste Transfer Committee” attended numerous BAPE hearings in St. Laurent with other concerned groups and successfully fought the proposed construction of a garbage transfer station adjacent to TMR’s industrial sector. Crimewatch, clear anti-pesticide guidelines, and modifications to major projects such as the proposed nine to ten storey Merit Crescent project are past successes.
Government infrastructure grants were more apt to be given in the past for arenas and art centres than for basic needs like sewers, roads & bridges. Now we must be prepared as the cost of solving major infrastructure problems is addressed in the future. Property owners and renters are major contributors to municipal revenues but we are the last ones to be consulted in the fiscal hierarchy. We must be ready to join again with other municipal organizations to find solutions and seek reasonable infrastructure funding at the federal and provincial levels.
The MRMA took the initiative in the fight against forced mergers, calling together and working with representatives of all the citizens’ organizations across the Island of Montreal. Our directors were also actively involved in the group that successfully fought for our demerger and we will continue to work for a more democratic agglomeration system and other challenges in the future.