By Robert Frank
Geoffrey Arscott plans to promote win-win cooperation with neighbouring boroughs, if he’s elected mayor of Île Bizard, Nov. 3.
“For the past 25 years, there has been no discussion between neighbouring municipalities on matters of mutual interest,” the Équipe Denis Coderre party candidate told The Suburban in an interview. “We need to ensure we have a forum where adjacent boroughs and cities can talk and come to a consensus, rather than do the not-in-my-back-yard (NIMBY) kind of thing.”
“Our neighbours in Pierrefonds come to Île Bizard to golf, and we go to Pierrefonds to shop,” he observed. “We need to have conversations on matters of common interest.”
“All the municipalities north of Highway 40 are impacted by north-south traffic congestion,” Arscott continued. “It’s not limited to the Jacques Bizard corridor,” he said, referring to the stalled three-decade-old project to construct a new artery that would link Île Bizard with the Lakeshore General Hospital.
“We have to look at the entire road network north of Highway 40, including what is is going on in western Pierrefonds that will impact Île Bizard. We have to take the lay of the land so discussions can take place.”
“We need a much more open dialogue than the NIMBY, ‘I’m going to do what I want to do’ discussion, because we share a lot of infrastructure,” Arscott asserted. “It has to be done in a harmonious and respectful fashion, be it the road network, schools or bicycle paths—the whole brochette of things that we’re going to be able to talk about.”
Brings big-business approach to buying
Arscott is no newcomer to municipal politics. He chaired Île Bizard’s sports and recreation committee while serving as city councilor from 1987-1993, and served on the city’s regional roadwork and urban planning & development committees.
He took a break from public life while his children were young, concentrating on his career at Air Canada, where he’s responsible for the airline’s procurement strategy, “providing direction on policy and procedure for all the purchases that the airline makes.”
He said that if he’s elected, he plans to put to use for the benefit of all Montreal taxpayers his experience getting the best value on purchases for the multibillion-dollar corporation.
“It’s something that the city needs to adopt, given the size and number of boroughs,” Arscott declared. “There’s lots to be done on the procurement front, from that perspective.”
“Each of my colleagues on the Denis Coderre team brings a different set of skills to the group, that will help to manage the city, going forward,” he noted.
“We need to bring some commercial and economic sense so we’re not just spending money in a very foolish fashion,” Arscott concluded. “Some pragmatism is needed to ensure that we get the best bang for the buck for citizens. It’s something that we can be proud of, at the end of the day.”
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