The municipal tax for 9-1-1 service is a monthly payment of 0.46$ since August 1st, 2016,  that must be paid by every customer of a given telephone service, regardless of the physical mode (landline or wireless, including internet phone service and prepaid card services), if that service allows users to call, directly or indirectly, an emergency 9-1-1 centre. This tax was previoulsy of 40 ¢ since December 2009.

This tax replaces the former municipal 9-1-1 user fee of 47 ¢, which has been in effect since 1995. However, the former 0.47$ fee was not collected by all telephone service providers but only by those which had signed agreements with the various municipalities. Most wireless telephone service providers had not signed such agreements, so that only some of the customers of a given phone service (roughly 4.4 million out of a total of 8 million) were contributing toward the financing of the emergency 9-1-1 call centres. This raised a problem of fairness. It also caused a problem of underifnancing for the emergency 9-1-1 call centres, particularly in contexts where some people replaced their landline phones with other telephony modes.

Similar conditions exist in seven other Canadian provinces.

Frequently asked questions

Why has the Agence municipale de financement et de développement des centres d’urgence 9-1-1 du Québec been created?

Subscribers of all telephone services in Québec, including wireless, must pay the monthly tax for the funding of 9-1-1 service. To reduce administrative costs and because it is difficult to link some types of services to a particular municipality, it was considered preferable to remit proceeds from the tax to a single organization, the Agence…

Subscribers of all telephone services in Québec, including wireless, must pay the monthly tax for the funding of 9-1-1 service. To reduce administrative costs and because it is difficult to link some types of services to a particular municipality, it was considered preferable to remit proceeds from the tax to a single organization, the Agence municipale de financement et de développement des centres d’urgence 9-1-1 du Québec. It is responsible for apportioning the funds among the municipalities according to the rules that the municipal representatives who head the agency deem to be the fairest. As provided by the law, the board of directors is comprised of representatives of Fédération québécoise des municipalités, Union of Québec Municipalities and Ville de Montréal. The Minister for Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy designated a representative to attend meetings of the board of directors at any time as an observer.

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Is Québec the only province in Canada where funding for 9-1-1 emergency centres is assumed by telephone service customers?

No. In seven other provinces, a fee or monthly levy is collected from the clients of a telephone service to fund 9-1-1 emergency services: New Brunswick ($0.53), Prince Edward Island ($0.70), Nova Scotia ($0.43), Alberta ($0.44), Saskatchewan ($0.94), Newfoundland and Labrador ($0.75) and British Columbia (Municipal levy, varying from $0.47 to more). In all of…

No. In seven other provinces, a fee or monthly levy is collected from the clients of a telephone service to fund 9-1-1 emergency services: New Brunswick ($0.53), Prince Edward Island ($0.70), Nova Scotia ($0.43), Alberta ($0.44), Saskatchewan ($0.94), Newfoundland and Labrador ($0.75) and British Columbia (Municipal levy, varying from $0.47 to more). In all of these provinces, the fee or levy applies both to wireless and landline services, except Bristish Columbia, where it applies solely for now to landline services.

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Given that wireless telephone clients are contributing to funding 9-1-1 emergency centres, can their calls be located more easily?

The location service enjoyed by the person using the wireless service is, for now, often much less precise than one using conventional wireline. The dispatcher must ask the caller to know the exact location from which comes the call. Contrary to what is described on TV or in the movies, the location of a wireless…

The location service enjoyed by the person using the wireless service is, for now, often much less precise than one using conventional wireline. The dispatcher must ask the caller to know the exact location from which comes the call. Contrary to what is described on TV or in the movies, the location of a wireless 9-1-1 call provided by the wireless telephone network can be very vague and require long and arduous research, with no guarantee of success in all cases. GPS technology is not yet always used by the telephone network, and is not working well when used inside a building, tunnel, etc. The tax provides municipalities and 9-1-1 emergency call centers with the resources to adapt to new technologies as they become available, to better serve the population. The CRTC  has jurisdiction to impose new technical standards in this respect to wireless service providers in Canada.

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What is the meaning of "enhanced" 9-1-1 services?

See the explanations provided by the CRTC. Click here.

See the explanations provided by the CRTC. Click here.

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What is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) 9-1-1 Service?

See the CRTC definition: (click here)

See the CRTC definition: (click here)

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