New council, same issues at Dec. 9 LaSalle borough meeting

By Tracey Arial

There were few differences between the December 9 LaSalle borough meeting and the one prior to the election. There were a few new faces on council and Mayor Manon Barbe didn’t attend, but that was it.

Bois des Caryers frustrations

Just as before, the room was full of frustrated Bois des Caryers residents—34 people in total. Several of them expressed dismay that they can’t trust their water; they’re worried about sewage backing up; they only have temporary electrical lines; and their roads aren’t paved. Two of the several who asked questions have been living in these conditions for two years now. They say there’s no hope in sight.

“We’re caught in the middle,” said resident Ms. Hong Han. “The promoter blames the city; the city blames the promoter. The City even increased the evaluation on our homes. We can only request things from our lawyer. The borough has no clout whatsoever.”

They were even angrier after Acting Mayor Laura Palestini read a two page letter to residents from Manon Barbe. The letter made it clear that the borough can do little to solve the problem other than pressure the promoter.

“All we can do is wait desperately for the lawyers of the developers and of the borough to do something,” said one of them. “I got a parking ticket but it’s supposed to be a private road. How can that happen?”

Quebec environment video about tearing down 50 houses in LaSalle

Prior to the many Bois des Caryers questions, Joseph Publiese gave the council a video by Quebec’s Environment Minister about fifty houses torn down in the eighties because they were built on toxic waste.

Commercialized medical marijuana

Later, Antonio MMPR Consulting asked whether the borough would be open to a commercialized marijuana business.

Cost of accent newsletter

Steven Laperrière asked about a $7,622.37 extra payment to Postes Canada Mediaposte for the delivery of the last version borough newsletter, Accent. Palestini explained that the fee actually covered an administrative error over time, and not the delivery of a single issue as the agenda indicated. When that motion was read out, Monique Vallée commented about the other motion on the agenda in which Payette and Simms would receive $69,096.53 to print seven issues of Accent in 2014.

“How much does each issue actually cost to produce in total,” she asked.

Palestini said that the figure would be provided during the next meeting.

Development consultation

Sonja Susnjar commented about the drop in votes for Équipe Barbe from the Cecil P. Newman district and asked whether councillors got the message.

“Will you consult citizens about development projects before they are finalized in this new term?”

Palestini responded that councillors would consult citizens when mandated to do so.

Committee appointments

Francisco Moreno asked whether Monique Vallée had been appointed to any LaSalle committees. She was not.

She was, however appointed to the municipal-level executive committee and the agglomeration council by Denis Coderre.

Municipal level

Denis Coderre appointed four LaSalle borough politicians to sit on Montreal’s executive committee, various permanent committees and the agglomeration council:

· Mayor Manon Barbe will sit on the agglomeration council; she will also continue in her role as president of the regional conference of elected officials, a position that she has held since 2008;

· Monique Vallée, recently-elected city councillor in the Cecil P. Newman district, will sit on Montreal’s executive committee and the agglomeration council;

· Richard Deschamps will sit on two commissions, the one set up to examine contracts and the permanent commission devoted to economic and urban development and housing; and

· Laura Palestini will sit on the permanent commission on finances and administration.

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