In Henry Aubin’s column today he talks about the Tremblay administrations failure to deliver fully on five major projects – “the city’s water system, the introduction of tram lines, the redevelopment of Griffintown, the enlargement of Notre Dame St., and the construction of the Quartier des spectacles.”
The water scandal alone should have toppled the Tremblay regime, let alone mishandling numerous mega projects. And it was the type of projects chosen that should have been raising eyebrows everywhere. Griffintown, for example, was a massive destruction of a heritage neighborhood that would have created a “second downtown” complete with a train line directly to a big box mall in Brossard. If there is such a thing as a project that can be called Anti Montreal, Griffintown was it.
Add in the fact that an apparently simple project like adding new infrastructure along a section of Saint Laurent boulevard took forever and caused the closing of numerous businesses and you have to wonder whose side these people are on?
The Quartier des Spectacles project calls for the complete change of The Main between Saint Catherine and Rene Levesque, although financial problems have caused a scaling back of the original plans. Only that lovable holdout, Cafe Cleopatra, has fought the good fight to restore the integrity of a block that Montrealers either love or hate the idea of, there being little indifference to that particular historical part of the city. It may be all for naught, but this wholesale transformation of The Main is yet more evidence of the Tremblay Administration’s complete disregard for local history. Everyone agrees The Main needs to be revived but there are a million cheaper and doable and useful ways that would be better than what we are getting.
Gerald Tremblay wants to be remembered as a
great good mayor and that is highly unlikely to happen. But three terms does speak volumes. And, sad to say, it says that Montrealers just don’t care, are not paying attention, or are so obsessed with old outdated political and economic agendas that they are quite willing to contribute to the gradual erosion of everything that is truly good about the city.
It is a shame what the Tremblay Administration has been trying to inflict on this city, but we gave it the permission to proceed. By going all out the developers may have priced themselves out, for now. Still, I have faith that a strong opposition at City Hall can derail this train to some degree until the next election. We need to find projects, and corruption free projects, that are sustainable, economically sensible, and wanted by the people who live in the district!