Amid a budget crisis, Montreal commissions artwork for $632,362.50

Author: 2020/05/19
  • Montreal’s Executive Council approved the commission for “Sporophores” on May 13
  • It is estimated the COVID-19 crisis will leave a $538 million hole in Montreal’s coffers
  • Mayor Valérie Plante has repeatedly called for financial assistance from Quebec and Ottawa

MONTRÉAL, QC : The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is criticizing the City of Montreal’s decision to allocate $632,362.50 for a public art project amid a budget crisis.

“The City of Montreal has repeatedly called for help from all levels of government,” said CTF Quebec Director Renaud Brossard. “The least it could do is suspend non-essential spending until the crisis is behind us.”

The installation, titled “Sporophores,” will consist of a dozen bronze structures to be installed between the Outremont and de l’Épée avenues on the University of Montreal’s new MIL campus.

On May 13, Montreal’s Executive Council  approved a $632,362.50 budget for the installation.

On April 23, Montreal announced a first round of budget cuts totalling $123 million.

According to analysts, the health and economic COVID-19 crisis will leave a $538 million hole in the city’s coffers.

Plante has spent the last several weeks asking for financial assistance from the federal and provincial governments. On April 23, she told La Presse: “We can’t make it in the long run without Quebec and Ottawa’s help.”

“Before begging for more money from Quebec and Canadian taxpayers, the City of Montreal must show it is taking its financial situation seriously,” said Brossard. “By purchasing a $600,000 gizmo, the Plante-Dorais administration is sending a terrible signal.”

Below is a 3D model of the “Sporophores” installation.