The Montreal City Council is the governing body in the mayor–council government in the city of Montreal, Quebec. The head of the city government in Montreal is the mayor, who is first among equals in the City Council. The city council is a democratically elected institution and is the final decision-making authority in the city, although much power is centralized in the executive committee. The Council consists of 65 members from all boroughs of the city. The Council has jurisdiction over many matters, including public security, agreements with other governments, subsidy programs, the environment, urban planning, and a three-year capital expenditure program. The City Council is also required to supervise, standardize or approve certain decisions made by the borough councils.
Reporting directly to the City Council, the executive committee exercises decision-making powers similar to that of the cabinet in a parliamentary system and is responsible for preparing various documents including budgets and by-laws, submitted to the City Council for approval. The decision-making powers of the executive committee cover, in particular, the awarding of contracts or grants, the management of human and financial resources, supplies and buildings. It may also be assigned further powers by the City Council.
Standing committees are the council's prime instruments for public consultation. They are responsible for the public study of pending matters and for making the appropriate recommendations to the council. They also review the annual budget forecasts for departments under their jurisdiction. A public notice of meeting is published in both French and English daily newspapers at least seven days before each meeting. All meetings include a public question period. The standing committees, of which there are seven, have terms lasting two years. In addition, the City Council may decide to create special committees at any time. Each standing committee is made up of seven to nine members, including a chairman and a vice-chairman. The members are all elected municipal officers, with the exception of a representative of the government of Quebec on the public security committee.
The current City Council consists of the Mayor of Montreal and 64 elected city councillors, including borough mayors. Unlike most Canadian cities, the City of Montreal has political parties.
Each borough is divided into between two and five districts, and has a different system of representation depending on its population. Each borough also has a borough council, consisting of the borough mayor, any city councillors, and in certain boroughs additional borough councillors, as follows: