Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities

Ville de Montréal is one of the very few places, worldwide, with a municipal charter of rights clearly outlining the City’s fundamental values and commitments. The Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities (or the “MCRR”) is a groundbreaking document with no known equivalent: UNESCO and UN-HABITAT have shown great interest in this charter and consider it as a model to be followed.

The MCRR came into effect on January 1, 2006. It is drafted around seven central themes:

  • Democracy
  • Economic and Social Life
  • Cultural Life
  • Recreation, Physical Activities and Sports
  • Environment and Sustainable Development
  • Safety
  • Municipal Services

The MCRR is a municipal By-Law which is binding on all of Ville de Montréal elected officials, managers and employees, including those working for boroughs or para-municipal or City-controlled corporations: the commitments therein are also binding on any person or organization performing duties on behalf of the City.

Section 86.1 of the Charter of Ville de Montréal provides that the MCRR “may not serve as the basis for a judicial or jurisdictional remedy nor… be cited in judicial or jurisdictional proceedings.” The only available recourse to ensure compliance with the MCRR, therefore, is with the Ombudsman de Montréal.

Even though the Ombudsman’s usual jurisdiction is limited to the administrative actions and/or decisions of the City, the MCRR allows her to intervene and investigate decisions that were voted by City Council, the Executive Committee or a Borough Council: this exceptional jurisdiction, however, applies only with regard to complaints based mainly on a commitment found in the MCRR.

A few examples of Charter investigations

Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities

 

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