Montreal Woman Baffled by Single Cent Invoice from City After Relocation Permit Mishap


In a peculiar turn of events, a former Montreal inhabitant was puzzled after receiving a seemingly innocuous invoice amounting to a single cent from the city. This strange sequence of events was sparked when she unintentionally applied for a permit to use the road before her residence in the Sud-Ouest borough for relocation purposes, only to later cancel the same.

Casting doubts upon the entire scenario, Roxanne Charlebois, who relocated from Montreal to Deux-Montagnes this summer, found the situation rather outlandish and economically irrational. She voiced her concerns, pointing out the lack of practicality in posting a bill via mail that cost exponentially more than the billed amount itself.

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Charlebois’s interactions with the municipality started in May when she inquired about the requirement of a temporary permit to park her vehicle in front of her residential premises, anticipating her approaching move. To her surprise, the official response confirmed not just her inquiry but also proceeded with the entire process, resulting in an invoice for the issued permit amounting to $160.

After consulting with a neighbour and assessing the situation, Charlebois decided to reverse her decision and approached the city to nullify her permit. An officer from the municipality, who reached out to her in June, clarified the mishap and assured her that necessary steps to nullify her permit were underway. Yet, two weeks ago, Charlebois received another invoice, this time demanding a measly one cent.

In response to the bemusing billing blunder, the finance department of the City of Montreal clarified that the document received by Charlebois was in fact a statement of account and not an invoice, and she was under no obligation to make the payment. They explained that the nominal sum was due to the creation of a new account encompassing the previously charged $160, offset by a credit of $159.99.

Addressing the ambiguity, Celine Vaillancourt, Sud-Ouest borough communications head, stated that they were contemplating including a note on future statements clarifying that balances below a certain amount were not subject to mandatory repayment. She confirmed that reminders are typically dispatched for balances above $10, and promised to address the discrepancy.

Undeterred by the baffling intrigue of events, Charlebois, in a bid to put an end to the matter, paid off the single cent, not wanting to accrue interest on the outstanding amount or bear the potential ramifications of an unpaid bill. Despite the resolution, Charlebois expressed her reservations about the entire ordeal, stating that it had provoked her to question everything around it.