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Residents prepare for public consultation
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 13 mai 2010
 
Photo Stephanie Watt
From left to right: Azra Akhtar, member of the Mountain Sights Community Centre; Marie-Agnès LeBreton, director of the Centre de services préventifs à l’enfance; Peter McQueen, NDG district councillor; John Margolis, president of Concordia International Weightlifting Club; Steven Troll, Snowdon resident and tennis coach; Kelly Krauter, director of Action communiterre; Gillian Keefe, Executive Director of the NDG Community Council.

Borough residents and members of community organizations met April 4 and 5 in the borough’s Decarie Boulevard locales to discuss the future of CDN—NDG’s installations, equipments and programs. On Tuesday’s agenda were gardens, parks, culture, libraries and sports while Wednesday’s session covered arenas, recreation centres and aquatic facilities.

Gilles Bergeron, director of CDN—NDG’s Direction de la culture, des sports, des loisirs et du développement social (DCSLSD), explained to participants that these sessions were “a time of study…to help you prepare for [May] 26”, the date of a public consultation on the borough’s Culture, Sports and Recreation Master Plan and its recommendations.

At these public study sessions, residents sat around tables and asked questions about the recommendations’ premises and implications and their links to other plans and policies. Many participants couldn’t refrain from making comments and suggestions, prompting the moderator to remind them of the upcoming public consultation. On hand to answer questions were Bergeron, librarian Stéphanie Brazeau and other DCSLSD staff.

Tuesday’s hot topics included the future NDG Library’s multilingual collection; the possibility of showcasing local, young and non-professional artists at the new library and cultural centre in NDG; the absence of sanitation facilities in parks; the proposal to create food counters at parks and in arenas; and the preservation of park spaces where people can just ‘hang out’. On the future use of the Benny Library, Bergeron assured residents that a formal public consultation on this matter will happen in early 2011.

Gillan Keefe, executive director of the NDG Community Council, commented on the DSCLSD and its organization of these plenary sessions: “What I appreciated was an openness to hear what people have to say. The whole process could slow down because we are setting the direction for the department’s next ten years” but “it’s a step in the right direction,” she added.

Looking forward, Marie-Agnès LeBreton, director of a social paediatrics centre in CDN, asked Bergeron and his team how they would prioritize the implementation of the recommendations. Keefe echoed this concern: “What will determine priorities?”

These plenary sessions, noted CDN district councillor Helen Fotopulos, really concern civil servants and the community. As for elected officials, she stated: “our role is to adopt [the plan] and, at this stage, to listen.”

On June 28 Bergeron’s team will hand the master plan to the borough council for adoption.

All residents who want to read a brief at the public consultation must submit the brief by May 20 to Michaëlle Riché at mriche@ville.montreal.qc.ca. Those who wish to attend the consultation must register at (514) 872-6086. Residents can consult the master plan and submit comments on the borough website.

[Stephanie Watt]





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