Verdun councillors active since the election

By Tracey Arial

The Borough of Verdun has already held two council meetings since the election, a special one on Nov. 18 and the first regularly scheduled one on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Also last week, several Verdun councillors were appointed by Denis Coderre to sit on Montreal’s executive committee, the agglomeration council, and various permanent committees.

Dec. 3 meeting

Borough Hall in Verdun was packed for the regular borough meeting last week.

After welcoming everyone in the room, which included several candidates who ran in the recent election, new Mayor Jean François Parenteau welcomed questions.

The first questioner, Alfred Tern, asked about social housing, which gave Parenteau an opportunity to emphasize a common vision shared by all the new councillors even though they come from two different banners (four ran for Équipe Coderre and three with Projet Montréal).
“We have not finalized the structure we’ll use yet,” he said. “But with regards to the reserve foncière, we want to reinstitute the 15 percent minimum, not just for buildings with more than 200 units but for all new construction. Also there’s a fund dedicated for social housing and we’d like to use that to repurpose buildings for social housing.” 

After that, questioners asked for details about the school on Nuns’ Island, unsanitary conditions in rental apartments, the future renovation of the arena, the renovation of the space for the Circus School and pedestrian struggles on busy streets, especially during snow clearing. Parenteau promised to look into each of the issues raised.

Councillors then passed motions to hand out an $87,017.80 contract to Soltech Inc., approve payments of $10,000 to three local organisms that aid people with handicaps, provide $12,003 to the Point de Mire youth centre, and forgive the Circus School’s 2014 rent of $17,786.40. They also provided $1,000 to the 2014 Games of Quebec, provided $31,113 to Verdun’s social development roundtable and contributed $1,500 to Notre Dame de Sept Douleurs 100th Anniversary celebration. 

They passed motions to enable the new Nuns’ Island School to be three storeys high, have a bay window and be landscaped so that vehicles can access the property.

Another motion modified the original architectural plans submitted by the Douglas Institute to expand the emergency facilities at the Reed Pavillion. Coderre Appointments

· Manon Gauthier sits on the executive committee and is now in charge of culture and heritage, design and status of women for the city;

· Jean-François Parenteau, recently-elected Mayor of Verdun, is an assistant member of Montreal’s Executive Committee and will improve water infrastructure;

· Pierre L’Heureux now sits on the permanent commission on transport and public works as well as the culture, heritage and sports commission;

· Marie-Eve Brunet will sit on the permanent commission on water, the environment and large park development and the one on social development and diversity; and 

· Stirling Downey will sit on the permanent commission on social development and diversity.

Special meeting Nov. 18

Two weeks earlier, the councillors held their first meeting, which was called to modify budgetary estimates, increase the borough contribution to a renovation between Studios A and B at the Circus School by $642.21, purchase $1,715 worth of tickets to two events (the annual gala and the awards presentation) held by the Forum économiqe de Verdun, approve the Wellington Street holiday plans and finalize the budget of SDC Wellington. 

They also named Marie-Eve Brunet, Pierre L’Heureux and Luc Gagnon as members on the urban consultative committee (CCU) for two year terms.

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