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For almost two weeks now, the Town has set in motion a series of exceptional measures. It has closed all its buildings and departments, retaining almost only what are considered essential services. We have sent home the vast majority of our employees so they can comply with the isolation requirements and most of them are teleworking. It’s unheard of for us.

In the same vein, the Town council held its first in-camera meeting on Monday. While regular meetings without a live audience are not legion in the Town's history, a webcast meeting was definitely a first: it was important to us to preserve the transparency of our municipal democracy. It went well, and I hope many of you will continue to follow us online as long as it remains necessary.

Announcements from the provincial government are coming one after the other at a rapid pace. At the moment, the crux of the matter lies in respecting measures of voluntary isolation and social distancing. We have had to remind the population in recent days that the playgrounds in our various parks are not good places to be at the moment. Ultimately, we have surrounded them with police tape and their use is now strictly forbidden. TMR families are adapting quite well to the directives in place, but it is important to remember that social distancing is not only for adults, we also need to prevent the gathering of children.

During our council meeting on Monday, we announced the coming into effect of two new measures to reduce the tax burden on Mount Royal residents and businesses during the collective efforts to fight the pandemic. We are well aware that in these times of uncertainty, when everything is being done in every home and workplace to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, forced shutdowns mean lost revenue for many.

For one thing, we made the decision to postpone the second instalment of the Mount Royal property taxes to June 25, 2020, instead of May 26. The post-dated cheques in our possession will not be cashed before this new deadline.

We also announced that interest on overdue payments, including tax arrears, will be suspended until the same date. Until June 25, the interest rate calculated daily by the Town on all outstanding debt for the current year to date will be 0%.

It is our hope that both these measures will relieve at least some pressure for the next little while.

Until our municipal buildings reopen, emailing and calling (514-734-2900) the Town are the only communication options available. But a lot of information is posted on the homepage of our website, make sure to use it: www.town.mount-royal.qc.ca.

For specific questions about the coronavirus, ask the right person: consult an expert at the province’s COVID-19 hotline (514-644-4545).

Philippe Roy

Mayor

90 Roosevelt Avenue

Mont-Royal H3R 1Z5