Couronne Ouest is a force to be reckoned with

By Kevin Woodhouse

Anyone who is trying to woo that special someone only to find out that he or she is simply “delighted that you are both such great friends” can be a devastating and guaranteed to include songs that cure a heartbreak.

But what if, as a large municipal body, you are seen as “invisible” to the decision makers in the National Assembly? That is exactly what happened to the West Island mayors who first ventured to Quebec City along with Clifford Lincoln to gain support for the Train de l’ouest project.

Baie d’Urfé Mayor Maria Tutino remembers being told by then-finance minister Raymond Bachand that, as far as Quebec was concerned, the West Island was virtually non-existent within the corridors of power and that it would be important to shout loudly in order to get anything done.

This past February, 35 municipalities that make up the West and off-island towns and boroughs came together to create a legal entity known as Couronne ouest, that encompasses more than 1,200 square kilometres of area and more than 420,000 residents.

The agency’s mandate is to create further ties between neighbouring municipalities and elected officials as well as speak to government agencies on behalf of residents for issues like health, education and transportation to name a few.

Tutino has been named vice-president of the legal body and noted that “the renewal of our municipalities’ collaboration regarding the Train de l’Ouest project shows that together, the West Island and Vaudreuil-Soulanges are a united front that cannot be ignored.”

In a recent interview with The Suburban, Train de l’ouest co-founder Lincoln felt confident in the project’s future because the Couronne ouest will command enough clout showing a desperate need for improved public transportation for off-island and West Island commuters.
And once the entity ensures that the high speed rail project comes to fruition, perhaps their next course of action should be to discuss with the government on the fairness of Bill 22 that downloaded many former provincial costs such as the maintenance of arterial roads and bridges onto municipalities that for years have had to more while large percentages of collected revenues are sent to the central city while residents foot the ever increasing tax needs.

How will the extension of Highway 440 for Pierrefonds and Dollard commuters ever come to light if the borough is responsible for footing the entire bill? Or with Exit 41 in Ste. Anne de Bellevue being closed since March 2011, with the city insisting its citizenry should not have to pay millions for an access point used by many motorists and not just Ste. Anne residents?

So far, the city has insisted the MTQ pay its share but the government has not blinked, stating the exit is the city’s responsibility. Would the MTQ allow the small city to get the job done on the government’s dome in the current scenario? The answer has to be a flat no as that would be precedent setting.

Maybe the wider reach of the Couronne ouest, working together for a common goal, could take on the challenge of beating back Bill 22 to a more equitable ration.

(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-45892555-1’, ‘’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial