Get Thee To City Hall Monday Night

Because it’s going to be an interesting evening with folks from Meadowbrook, Griffintown, and Turcot showing up to ask the city some point blank questions.

The city has approved a scaled back version of Devimco’s Big Box version of Griffintown. But this version still includes demolishing most of the area and building some towers. What?!?! Yep. The very same city that recently announced all kinds of incentives to attract people who have, or are planning to raise, families, in coming back towards the core, still believes that massive demolitions of potentially great neighborhoods is the way to go! Do the math, folks, and think of everyone you have ever met. How many were raised in towers? An overwhelming, near total, majority of human beings do not believe towers are a proper place to raise children. It’s one of those rare facts that is supported by almost everyone who has ever been alive everywhere! So why does the city of Montreal continue to approve projects that are universally disliked and are even at odds with it’s own plans for growth?

Meadowbrook is one of the last great green spaces on the Island of Montreal. Yes, it’s a golf course, now. But it’s also home to a wide variety of wildlife. It also has a large and active rail yard along one side of it. Not an ideal place to build new housing, but, you guessed it, there is a developer with all kinds of fancy greenwashed blueprints who will tell you that a wonderful sustainable community can be built on the Meadowbrook site and it’s just a good plain old idea. Given Montreal’s horrible greenspace record and the tendency of all our mayors to just approve what the development community wants to do, this is all just business as usual. The problem is that the year is 2010, not 1963, and most people agree that we desperately need to preserve our greenspaces (maybe we should start demolishing housing to build urban farms?). That the city would even consider approving development of a site such as Meadowbrook is a monster red light flashing telling us that the people in charge are hopelessly out of touch with reality and may cause extensive harm to the city while they remain in power!

The Dalhousie Corridor is another project that was completely panned by the Office de consultation publique du Montreal, yet, Isabelle Hudon, of the Societe du Havre de Montreal, arrogantly wants the project to go forward, perhaps with some small changes. A temporary solution to a long term problem costing millions and millions of taxpayer dollars is the heart of the lunacy here. That and the outrage expressed by the STM via Ms Hudon in not getting their way makes them appear to be no more mature than a group of children in a sandbox. Temporary solutions indeed. And they have already spent millions of your money just planning something that just about everyone in the know says is a dumb idea.

There may be some questions about Turcot though I personally think the pressure should be turned up on Jean Charest, even if the walls are crumbling all around him. We do not have courageous leaders at a time when we really need them. They all are stuck in a paradigm that shifted completely some time ago, and they are holding us back, making us backwards, their only ideas being debt inducing mega projects completely grounded in the Modernist agenda that created the very problems of the age in which we live. We need to start catching up.

So get thee to City Hall on Monday night. You can offer support to the people who have worked hard to oppose these highly questionable projects, and also take it as an opportunity to see your city council in action. Forget about snow removal and garbage collecting for one day and go see how the people you voted for actually represent you in council. It’s something everyone should do at least once in a lifetime of living here.

Montreal City Council
April 19, 2010
275 Notre-Dame E. at 6:30 p.m.

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