By Tracey Arial
Last Monday, LaSalle borough councillors marked the 50th anniversary of the worst disaster in LaSalle history. A gas leak at 8 a.m. on March 1, 1965 led to an explosion that levelled two apartment buildings and killed 28 people.
They also promised to create an exhibit to honour the victims. Later this year, a plaque will be placed next to the parking lot at Jean Milot and Bergevin Street where the explosion occurred.
“We offer our sympathy and our moral support to all the parents, friends and neighbours of these victims,” said LaSalle Mayor Manon Barbe at the borough meeting Monday. “We want to assure them that LaSalle residents will never forget that terrible drama.”
Condolences were also expressed to Ugo Palestini, Veleta Baillie and Mario de Rocher.
West Island resident Murray Levine joined local residents to ask Monique Vallée for a meeting to discuss homelessness soon. He also asked her to inform Mayor Denis Coderre that Velo Quebec is now partnering with charities to collect donations when groups participate in the Tour de l’ile.*
Other residents asked about a three-year local tax that has been in place for more than nine years, and the reason for councillor support of a three-borough CLD for economic development rather than a LaSalle-only organization.
Verdun, Southwest and LaSalle are working together to make sure that this new effort works,” said Barbe. “It’s like a forced marriage but we’re focussing on what we need to do together.”
At the meeting, councillors also provided the Boys and Girls Club of LaSalle with $104,000 for an anti-bullying campaign, the Centre du Vieux Moulin with $2,300 for an arts and theatre festival, the Cavalier de LaSalle secondary school with $1,000 for a 50th anniversary celebration and $3,500 for a walking and running race to take place in LaSalle next summer.
The Bois des Caryers development was the focus of four proposed zoning bylaw changes and the Centrale Avenue conversion was approved. Councillors also officially accepted that three different will be renovated.
Note: This article appeared on page 8 of the city edition of The Suburban, on March 4.
* The original version of this article implied that individuals participating in the Tour de l’ile could collect donations for charities. That isn’t the case yet, but Murray plans to keep working on it. Check out his blog for updates on his campaign. Thanks for your diligence, Murray.
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