2012 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Finalist
Peter F. Trent
The Merger Delusion
McGill-Queen's University Press
"A brilliant history of Montreal’s experience with amalgamation, told by a major participant. It is an erudite, meticulous yet lively narrative about what can happen to any great city when a superior level of government arbitrarily imposes its will. Written with wit and no small degree of self-criticism, this splendid book is a warning to politicians of all persuasions to heed the hopes and desires of their citizens before, not after, they legislate."
About the Book
In 2002, the Province of Quebec forcibly merged all cities on the Island of Montreal into a single municipality – a decision that was partially reversed in 2006. Peter F. Trent foresaw numerous financial and institutional problems posed by the creation of this megacity and led a battle against the provincial government, the City of Montreal, and the Board of Trade. The promise to reverse the merger resonated with voters and eventually helped the Quebec Liberal Party win the 2003 provincial election. The Merger Delusion outlines the cost and pitfalls posed by amalgamation and chronicles how Trent took his fight all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
About the Author
Peter F. Trent is the mayor of the City of Westmount, Quebec. He was first elected as a councillor in 1983, and served as mayor between 1992 and 2001, returning to the position in 2009. He has contributed columns and editorials to the Westmount Examiner and the Gazette (Montreal). The Merger Delusion is his first book.