Right up your back alley

Right up your back alley

Back alleys for sale, cheap.

There is a dispute going on in Quebec City between the province and the municipality itself about what to do with those back alleys or as some of us call them “lanes” that run behind some of the streets in and around the town. You may be surprised to learn that those little alleyways that you use to park your car on, or put your garbage out onto, do not belong to the city. Nope, they’re actually under provincial jurisdiction and any maintenance or snow removal is paid for by the province, which is why the state would like to sell them to the cities to reduce their annual budget.

The province has offered the city the opportunity to buy these lanes for the bargain price of $1.00 each. Sounds like a good deal, but is it really? In total there are approximately 100 of these little gems scattered throughout Limoilou and Montcalm. We’re not talking about the ones in the newer areas like Cap Rouge etc. which were built and are maintained by the their respective municipalities. They were part of the city planning when the towns were first laid out.

The alleys in question have been there since the city came into existence and at the time were part of a downtown plan to make houses accessible from the rear, keeping the streets clean and clear.

According to the city, the price is right, but it’s the cost of maintaining them that becomes the issue and the province isn’t budging on sharing that cost, even for a few years.

It’s the old “who’ll pay for what” game, and it’s been going on for a long time. The matter is discussed every three years by the “Programme d’immobilisations” (Fixed assets committee) as to who wants what and when, but nobody wants to make the decision.

So for the next three years, at least, the province will continue to pay for the upkeep of that little lane of yours, but does it really matter. Either way, it’s your tax dollars that are paying, whether it’s from your Mayor or your Premier, it’s the same money.
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LifeinQuebec.com Staff Writer

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Comments

  1. arty
    arty 13 December, 2013, 15:37

    Does it really matter? Yes! If the deal goes through, our provincial taxes will not be reduced, but our municipal ones will no doubt be increased!

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