To complain about Montreal’s bureaucracy, please fill out form 132-B in triplicate

After finally getting sick of government bureaucracy and having no venue to hold it in, Noel Alexander has had no choice but to cancel Jamaica Day in Montreal.

The bureaucratic hoops that Mr. Alexander had to jump through are unfortunately very familiar to me. I had a similar experience when I tried getting the city to authorize a small two-day event in Angrignon Park.

At first it didn’t seem like a big deal. Contact the right department and fill out a few forms. But then the demands started coming. First they needed proof that the organization was a non-profit. Then they needed proof that the majority of the organization’s members were Montreal residents. Then they wanted an interior design plan for the tents. Then they wanted a security and communications plan. Then they needed proof that the tents we were going to use were sufficiently flame-retardant.

I eventually gave up, sending them a letter saying their requirements were too much for a small group to deal with. We went to Plan B, which involved asking for a small piece of land outside the Pointe-Claire fire department.

The request was presented to the Pointe-Claire city council and approved at their next meeting. That was it.

Six months later the City of Pointe-Claire was merged into the City of Montreal.

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