Guest Blogger – Eric Paradis

On September 18th the city’s Executive Committee passed a motion to continue expropriating businesses on St. Laurent Blvd. south of Ste. Catherine St., despite the city’s Office of Public Consultations concluding that the current plan was too rushed and should be put back on the drawing board.

Monday, September 21, the municipal council will put last week’s motion to a vote. With an election just over a month away, we can show the councillors that despite the last-minute nature of this motion, we’re watching their vote on it.

A “yes” vote would give the developer 5 years to develop a new “revitalization project” for that block. But by starting with the expropriation of all remaining businesses, the Mayor is making it clear he doesn’t want Café Cléopatra, Montreal Poolroom or Main Exportations to be part of a revitalization of the area they’ve served for nearly 100 years.

This part of the Quartier des Spectacles project has already displaced numerous concert venues, nightclubs and bars– on Monday, we can say NO MORE EXPROPRIATION or buyout until the developer takes the time necessary to develop a new plan with real input from affected citizens and local businesses.

This is a PUBLIC project in the historic heart of our city and should be carried out with an appropriate level of public input and accountability.

The stake being of importance, the fight for the survival of Cabaret Cleo promises to be rather complex but the show must go on!

In 2010, Cabaret Cleo celebrate its 35th year of existence with numerous events with a goal to highlight its contribution to our city’s cultural diversity.

It takes more than mere red lights and “smart” pixels to make a “real” Quartier des Spectacle. Beyond and above all, a positive communication must be established with the artists who perform there so that their participation will be welcome without judging or marginalizing it.

An equal and fair rule of prosperity for everyone and a will to participate can only embellish the diversity of our cultural heritage. The future can only become a brighter place by our will to participate.

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