Val-Alain snubbed for donating residential land

The municipality of Val-Alain, in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, was singled out by the investigations department of the Commission municipale du Québec (CMQ) because of its donation program.

Val-Alain snubbed for donating residential land

The municipality of Val-Alain, in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, was singled out by the investigations department of the Commission municipale du Québec (CMQ) because of its donation program.

land to attract new residents.

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In April 2022, the municipality, via the Corporation de développement économique (CDE) de Val-Alain, launched a residential land donation program offered to buyers on the condition that they agree to build a home valued at at least $175,000 and to live there for at least a year.

This initiative, reported in media reports, caught the attention of the CMQ’s Municipal Integrity Investigations and Prosecutions Department (DEPIM).

In the eyes of the organization, the municipality could not, via the CDE, launch its land donation project. A subsidy program for residential and commercial construction piloted by the CDE was also denounced by the DEPIM.

“The law is clear. Unless otherwise provided, a municipality is prohibited from donating its property; it must alienate them for consideration”, is it exposed in the investigation report unveiled Thursday.

The CDE is presented as a non-profit organization, but it obtains its funding mainly from the City. Moreover, resolutions adopted by the municipal council clearly show that the City pays funds to the CDE to finance its development programs.

“It is clear that the financing of the Municipality is linked to the promotion of residential and commercial development and to the granting of financial assistance by the CDE to new residents and businesses of the Municipality”, supported the DEPIM.

"Although we can understand that a municipality wants to promote residential and commercial development on its territory, it must do so while respecting the guidelines provided for by law, which was not done in this case," said added the municipal watchdog.

The organization recommends that the City and the CDE end their grant and land donation programs.

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