The municipal tax for 9-1-1 service is a monthly payment of 0.46 $ 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 came into effect on August 1st, 2016. From 2009 to 2016, the rate was 0.40 $ a month.
This tax replaces the former municipal 9-1-1 user fee of 0.47 $, which has been in effect since 1995. However, the former fee was not collected by all telephone service providers but only by those which had signed agreements with the various municipalities. Most cellular or mobile 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 underfinancing 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

What is the purpose of the municipal tax for 9-1-1?

The 9-1-1 emergency call centres receive 9-1-1 calls from individuals in distress, determine the nature of the emergency and dispatch the calls to the appropriate emergency services such as the police, firefighters and ambulance services. The Civil Protection Act assigns to all the municipalities responsibility for ensuring that a 9-1-1 emergency centre serves their territory. The…

The 9-1-1 emergency call centres receive 9-1-1 calls from individuals in distress, determine the nature of the emergency and dispatch the calls to the appropriate emergency services such as the police, firefighters and ambulance services. The Civil Protection Act assigns to all the municipalities responsibility for ensuring that a 9-1-1 emergency centre serves their territory. The municipalities are responsible for funding 9-1-1 emergency centres. The municipal tax for 9-1-1 is intended to enable them to fulfil in part this responsibility.

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Why is the municipal tax for 9-1-1 replacing the municipal levy for the service?

A municipal levy of $0.47 per month, in some municipalities, funded 9-1-1 emergency centres until November 2009. However, not all telephone service providers collected this levy, but only those that had concluded agreements for this purpose with the municipalities. Most wireless telephone service providers did not conclude such agreements, which means that only some telephone…

A municipal levy of $0.47 per month, in some municipalities, funded 9-1-1 emergency centres until November 2009. However, not all telephone service providers collected this levy, but only those that had concluded agreements for this purpose with the municipalities. Most wireless telephone service providers did not conclude such agreements, which means that only some telephone service clients were contributing to funding the 9-1-1 service. This raised a question of fairness and also posed a problem of under-funding for 9-1-1 emergency centres because many individuals replaced their landline telephone with other communication modes. Under an agreement concluded in the Spring of 2006 between municipal associations, the City of Montréal and the Government of Québec, the law was changed to ensure that all telephone service subscribers contribute from now on to the funding of 9-1-1 emergency centres. Starting December 2009, a municipal tax on all communication services that can reach 9-1-1, including wireless and VoIP communication providers, was established by law. A new fiscal agreement was signed in 2015. The provincial regulations and municipal by-laws were changed and now provide that the tax for 9-1-1 service is raised to $0.46 per month, beginning August 1st, 2016, for the next few years.

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Who must pay the municipal tax for 9-1-1?

The municipal tax is payable by any customer of any type of telecommunication service in Québec that can dial 9-1-1 to reach a 9-1-1 emergency call center.

The municipal tax is payable by any customer of any type of telecommunication service in Québec that can dial 9-1-1 to reach a 9-1-1 emergency call center.

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Is the client of both a landline and wireless service having to pay the municipal tax for 9-1-1 on each service?

Yes. The tax is applied monthly on each communication service that allows to reach the 9-1-1. By analogy, the obligation of a customer to pay the tax for each telephone service reflects the same principle as that which applies to car registration rights: two cars, two plates.

Yes. The tax is applied monthly on each communication service that allows to reach the 9-1-1. By analogy, the obligation of a customer to pay the tax for each telephone service reflects the same principle as that which applies to car registration rights: two cars, two plates.

Do telephone service clients have to pay the municipal tax every time they dial 9-1-1?

No. The  9-1-1 service during an emergency is free of charge. Calling 9-1-1 from a telephone booth is also free of charge. Telephone service subscribers must pay monthly the municipal tax for 9-1-1 to ensure the availability of the service provided by 9-1-1 emergency call centres. There is an exception with prepaid cards (see the…

No. The  9-1-1 service during an emergency is free of charge. Calling 9-1-1 from a telephone booth is also free of charge. Telephone service subscribers must pay monthly the municipal tax for 9-1-1 to ensure the availability of the service provided by 9-1-1 emergency call centres. There is an exception with prepaid cards (see the next question).

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Are prepaid airtime cards covered by the municipal tax for 9-1-1?

Yes. When a client who has purchased a prepaid airtime card decides to use it, the telephone service provider must then collect the tax when it supplies the service for the first time in a given month. To obtain additional information, clients should contact their service provider.

Yes. When a client who has purchased a prepaid airtime card decides to use it, the telephone service provider must then collect the tax when it supplies the service for the first time in a given month. To obtain additional information, clients should contact their service provider.

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How much is the municipal tax for 9-1-1?

For any telephone service that allows the user to dial 9-1-1, the tax is $0.46 per month per telephone number or, in the case of a multiline telephone service other than a Centrex service, per outgoing access line, beginning August 1st, 2016 . This is a minimal amount bearing in mind that it provides access…

For any telephone service that allows the user to dial 9-1-1, the tax is $0.46 per month per telephone number or, in the case of a multiline telephone service other than a Centrex service, per outgoing access line, beginning August 1st, 2016 . This is a minimal amount bearing in mind that it provides access to the important service that 9-1-1 emergency call centres offer. The tax was previoulsy of $0.40 per month, since 2009. The amount was raised to reflect inflation during this period.

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When did the municipal tax for 9-1-1 came into force?

Until November 2009, a levy of $0.47 per month was imposed on wireline telephone services only. From  December 2009 to July 2016, a monthly municipal  tax of $0.40 on all phone services that can reach the 9-1-1, including wireless services, has been imposed. This tax raised to $0.46 per month on August, 1st,  2016, to…

Until November 2009, a levy of $0.47 per month was imposed on wireline telephone services only. From  December 2009 to July 2016, a monthly municipal  tax of $0.40 on all phone services that can reach the 9-1-1, including wireless services, has been imposed. This tax raised to $0.46 per month on August, 1st,  2016, to adjust for the inflation rate. This amount will be maintained for the next few years.

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How is the municipal tax for 9-1-1 collected?

Telephone service providers must, in their capacity as mandataries of the municipalities, collect the tax from their clients and remit it to Québec Revenue Agency (Revenu Québec), which in turn remits it to the Agence municipale de financement et de développement des centres d’urgence 9-1-1 du Québec. The Agency apportions the tax among the municipalities…

Telephone service providers must, in their capacity as mandataries of the municipalities, collect the tax from their clients and remit it to Québec Revenue Agency (Revenu Québec), which in turn remits it to the Agence municipale de financement et de développement des centres d’urgence 9-1-1 du Québec. The Agency apportions the tax among the municipalities to fund the 9-1-1 emergency call centres serving their territory.

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How much revenue the municipal tax for 9-1-1 generate and how is it allocated?

The municipal tax for 9-1-1 generated $41.4 million in annual revenue during its last year of application (2016). You can find all the details in our Annual Report. Once the telephone service providers, Revenu Québec and the Agence municipale de financement et de développement des centres d'urgence 9-1-1 du Québec have deducted their administrative costs,…

The municipal tax for 9-1-1 generated $41.4 million in annual revenue during its last year of application (2016). You can find all the details in our Annual Report. Once the telephone service providers, Revenu Québec and the Agence municipale de financement et de développement des centres d'urgence 9-1-1 du Québec have deducted their administrative costs, the local municipalities received some $ 40.4 million to fund 9-1-1 emergency call centres in 2016. The funds will allow the enhancement of services and new technologies.

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Do telephone service providers retain an amount to cover their administrative costs?

The monthly municipal  tax for 9-1-1 service is $0.46 per telephone number or outgoing access line. In accordance with provincial regulations, the amount retained on the tax by the service providers for the collection and administrative processing of the tax is $0.04 ($ 4.5 million in 2016).

The monthly municipal  tax for 9-1-1 service is $0.46 per telephone number or outgoing access line. In accordance with provincial regulations, the amount retained on the tax by the service providers for the collection and administrative processing of the tax is $0.04 ($ 4.5 million in 2016).

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Why is Revenu Québec responsible for collecting and recovering from service providers the municipal tax for 9-1-1?

The Québec Revenue Agency (Revenu Québec) is responsible for the enforcement of tax laws of Québec. As part of this mandate, it ensures that all telephone service providers fulfill their obligation to collect from their customers and contribute the municipal tax for 9-1-1 service. It also collects other taxes from telephone service providers, such as…

The Québec Revenue Agency (Revenu Québec) is responsible for the enforcement of tax laws of Québec. As part of this mandate, it ensures that all telephone service providers fulfill their obligation to collect from their customers and contribute the municipal tax for 9-1-1 service. It also collects other taxes from telephone service providers, such as GST and QST. Simplifying the delivery from a single collector process reduces costs. In addition, support by Revenu Québec of the collection and recovery of tax from suppliers ensures their confidentiality in the competitive market of the telecommunications industry.  

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Is the municipal tax for 9-1-1 subject to the GST and the QST?

Yes. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Québec Sales Tax (QST) apply to the amount that the provider demands of the clients in respect of the telephone service provided. The municipal tax for 9-1-1 is included in this amount and is thus subject to the GST and the QST.

Yes. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Québec Sales Tax (QST) apply to the amount that the provider demands of the clients in respect of the telephone service provided. The municipal tax for 9-1-1 is included in this amount and is thus subject to the GST and the QST.

What explanation is there for the different amounts linked to the 9-1-1 emergency service that appear on the invoices of the telephone service providers?

The $0.46 per month municipal tax levied on all clients of a telephone service is the only amount collected by municipalities for funding 9-1-1 emergency centres, net of certain costs under regulations. Any other amount indicated on the invoice of a client for "9-1-1 service or access" refers to the network or connection costs allowed…

The $0.46 per month municipal tax levied on all clients of a telephone service is the only amount collected by municipalities for funding 9-1-1 emergency centres, net of certain costs under regulations. Any other amount indicated on the invoice of a client for "9-1-1 service or access" refers to the network or connection costs allowed by the CRTC for wireline (actually $0,13), or other elements that for the supplier to explain for the wireless or VoIP services. Customers are encouraged to contact their provider if they have questions in this respect, because this amount is not paid to municipalities or managed by the Agency.  

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How are clients notified that they are paying the municipal tax for 9-1-1?

All clients of a telephone service that enables them to dial 9-1-1 are subject to the municipal tax for 9-1-1. Telephone service providers must, at least once a year, by any means they considers appropriate (including their Website), notify each of the clients that they are collecting this tax and the amount of the tax,…

All clients of a telephone service that enables them to dial 9-1-1 are subject to the municipal tax for 9-1-1. Telephone service providers must, at least once a year, by any means they considers appropriate (including their Website), notify each of the clients that they are collecting this tax and the amount of the tax, but are not obliged to make separate mention of it on the invoice.

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Is the municipal tax allowing the enhancement of the services provided by 9-1-1 emergency centres?

Yes. The amount of the municipal tax for 9-1-1 has been set bearing in mind the cost of applying more stringent quality standards that apply to 9-1-1 emergency call centres when the Regulation respecting standards, specifications and quality criteria applicable to 9-1-1emergency centres and to certain secondary emergency call centre came into force in December…

Yes. The amount of the municipal tax for 9-1-1 has been set bearing in mind the cost of applying more stringent quality standards that apply to 9-1-1 emergency call centres when the Regulation respecting standards, specifications and quality criteria applicable to 9-1-1emergency centres and to certain secondary emergency call centre came into force in December 2010. The Ministère de la Sécurité publique du Québec (Department of Public Safety) is responsible for defining certain service standards and monitoring their application, since December 2010, by a periodic accreditation procedure aimed at ensuring compliance with these standards. The CRTC, a federal public authority, is in charge of regulating and supervising the 9-1-1 networks services providers must provide. It sets deadlines that telephone service providers must meet in order to offer new services to subscribers and technical standards to be met. The tax revenues allow 9-1-1 call  centers to acquire or modify equipment and train staff during such changes, as was the case during the introduction of Text to 9-1-1 reserved for Deaf, Hard of Hearing or persons with a Speech Disability registered with their wireless service provider. Canada is preparing to offer the next generation of 9-1-1 service.

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