Understanding the right of initiative

The right of initiative allows Montréal’s citizens to obtain a public consultation on a subject of public interest in connection with the city or a borough. Find out more.

The procedure for obtaining a public consultation as part of a right of initiative involves three steps:

  1. submit a draft petition to the city or submit a draft petition to your borough
  2. have a petition signed
  3. hold a public consultation

Step 1 - Submit a draft petition

Start by finding out if the petition is eligible under the right of initiative by viewing:

To submit your draft, you must:

  • be 15 years of age or older
  • live within the area in question of the draft petition: Montréal or the borough in which you reside
  • complete the online form or the paper form
  • obtain 25 signatures from Montréal citizens ages 15 or over
  • designate three people who may be contacted by the city among the 25 signatories

If the draft petition is accepted, the city will contact you and you may proceed to the next step.

Step 2 - Have the draft petition signed

The city will inform you of the date on which the signing period begins. 

A public notice will be published online and in the newspapers. You will then have 90 days to obtain the required number of signatures.

Draft petitions that concern the city must be signed by 15,000 people. This figure varies for draft petitions concerning a borough, based on its population.

To sign a petition, a person must:

  • be 15 years of age or older
  • live within the area in question of the draft

If you submit your draft petition using the online service, you must have the online petition signed. If you submit a draft petition using the paper form, you must have the paper form signed.

To obtain a public consultation, your draft must receive the required number of signatures within the prescribed deadline.

Step 3 - Participating in a public consultation

During a public consultation, you will have the opportunity to present your draft petition and the reasons justifying it. All people who wish to express an opinion or ask questions on the subject may do so as well. 

The city or authority in charge of the public consultation will publish a report in the 90 days following the end of the consultation. 

The number of public consultations that can be organized under a right of initiative may be limited to: 

  • three per year for the city
  • two per year for a borough

A resident participation mechanism

The right of initiative is a mechanism of participatory democracy set out in the Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities

Other options are available to those who wish to present their ideas and participate in the democratic process: