The Association of Suburban Municipalities (ASM for short) is comprised of the Mayors of the 15 suburban cities located on the island of Montreal. It is important to note that the ASM is not a political party. Rather, it is a collection of 15 individual Mayors who collaborate on issues of common interest (or concern) pertaining to island-wide services under the responsibility of the Agglomeration Council of Montreal (which includes public transit, police, fire and water supply, to name but a few).
As a point of interest, the ASM has 15 seats on the Agglomeration Council, as does the City of Montreal (for a total of 30 members on the Council). While all Montreal representatives must cast the same vote on each dossier presented to the Agglo Council, ASM members are free to cast a vote that they feel is in the best interest of the citizens that they represent.
In addition to their Agglomeration Council responsibilities, the ASM Mayors sit on various Agglomeration commissions and working committees where they have the opportunity to share with their Montreal colleagues the position of the ASM on all dossiers under study. It must be noted that these commissions and working committees are ‘advisory’ only (with all final decision on these dossiers being made by either Montreal’s Executive Committee or the Agglomeration Council).
On January 1, 2002, the 27 former suburban cities across the island were merged with Montreal to create the ‘new’ Ville de Montréal (« une Île, une ville »).
Four years later, 15 of the former 27 suburban cities demerged from the Ville de Montréal effective January 1, 2006, these cities being Baie-D’Urfé, Beaconsfield, Côte-Saint-Luc, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Dorval, Dorval Island, Hampstead, Kirkland, Montreal East, Montreal West, Mount Royal, Pointe-Claire, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Senneville and Westmount.
A short 3 months after demerger, Quebec’s ‘Registraire des entreprises’ issued the ‘Letters Patent’ that effective March 2, 2006 formally established the Association of Suburban Municipalities (ASM) (which was comprised of the Mayors of the 15 cities listed above). In the ‘Objectives’ section of the application, the suburban cities Mayors (at that time) were requested to elaborate on their objectives to warrant the issuance of the Letters Patent. The response was short but profound : “Defend and promote the interests of demerged municipalities on the Island of Montreal and their citizens”.This 2006 ASM objective remains the same today.