Tag Archives: Montreal-West

The barrier stays

The barrier segregating Montreal West from the Ville Saint Pierre district of Lachine is here to stay. The Quebec Court of Appeal this week upheld a lower court ruling that Montreal West was within its rights to setup a barrier to car traffic between the two towns. Though Montreal (which the Lachine borough is part of now) may appeal, I’d wager their chances of getting heard at the Supreme Court level are slim. If the barrier comes down, it’ll be because of a deal among neighbours, not because a hand was forced by the courts.

Montreal West argues this isn’t about building a wall between rich and poor (there’s no restriction on pedestrian travel), but the only issue is safety. I couldn’t find any evidence of a problem when I checked it out two years ago. But it seems to be enough to convince people that it’s necessary. And that’s why it’s the same argument used by other cities who erect barriers between neighbours.

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Few campaigns in on-island suburbs (UPDATED)

Note: This post has been updated with full (preliminary) council numbers.

When they voted to break up One Island, One City, 15 municipalities on the island of Montreal, mostly in the West Island, argued that local democracy was one of the big reasons why. Their voices would get overruled in the larger city of Montreal.

Now, of course, these reconstituted municipalities have virtually no say in so-called “agglomeration” matters like public transit. Instead, the city of Montreal calls all the shots.

And as nominations closed Friday for mayor and city council positions, it seems healthy local democracy isn’t on the agenda either. Of the 15, six won’t have a vote for mayor on Nov. 1 because only one person (the incumbent, except in Westmount where it’s a friendly transition to a former mayor) applied for the job. In only one city (Beaconsfield) are there more than two candidates for mayor. And in only three (Beaconsfield, Montréal-Est and Mount Royal) are all council seats contested.

In Baie d’Urfé, they won’t even hold an election because not one position has more than one candidate.

Here are the preliminary numbers from the government:

  • Baie d’Urfé: Mayor Maria Tutino re-elected by acclamation. 0/6 districts contested
  • Beaconsfield: Three candidates for mayor: incumbent Bob Benedetti, Hela Labene, David Pollock. 6/6 districts contested (each by at least three candidates).
  • Côte St. Luc: Mayor Anthony Housefather re-elected by acclamation. 3/8 districts contested.
  • Dollard des Ormeaux: Two candidates for mayor: incumbent Ed Janiszewski, Shameen Siddiqui. 6/8 districts contested.
  • Dorval: Mayor Edgar Rouleau re-elected by acclamation. 3/6 districts contested.
  • Ile Dorval: N/A
  • Hampstead: Two candidates for mayor: incumbent William Steinberg, David Sternthal. 4/6 districts contested.
  • Kirkland: Mayor John Meaney re-elected by acclamation. 3/8 districts contested.
  • Montréal Est: Two candidates for mayor: incumbent Robert Coutu, Yvon Labrosse. 6/6 districts contested.
  • Montreal West: Two candidates for mayor: Beny Masella, Emile Subirana. 2/4 districts contested.
  • Mount Royal: Two candidates for mayor: incumbent Vera Danyluk, Andre Krepec. 6/6 districts contested.
  • Pointe-Claire: Mayor Bill McMurchie re-elected by acclamation. 1/8 districts contested.
  • Sainte Anne de Bellevue: Two candidates for mayor: incumbent Bill Tierney, Francis Deroo. 5/6 districts contested.
  • Senneville: Two candidates for mayor: incumbent George McLeish, Christopher Jackson. 5/6 districts contested.
  • Westmount: Peter Trent elected mayor by acclamation. 6/8 districts contested.

Meanwhile, in Montreal, six candidates for mayor and every single district has at least three candidates (one from each of the major parties). A total of 400 people are running for 103 positions.

It’s possible that people in these suburbs are just really happy with their current government. In the few places with opposition, like Beaconsfield and Hampstead, there are actual races. But a lack of even token opposition leads to politicians getting lazy, and that inevitably leads to corruption.

So tell me, who’s more democratic again?

Great Wall of Montreal West goes back up

Just got this update about Broughton Road saying the barricade is back up:

Without any warning and while still in court, Mtl West put them up in the middle of the day. People came home greeted by a security guard and the barricade. Quite military like. Lots of emotion on Hillcrest yesterday. Lachine has not had their appeal read yet (deadline was May 30th, we submitted on time), so Montreal West had no business putting anything up as we are still in court.

For those unfamiliar with the situation, Montreal West put up a barrier on this street leading downhill to Ville-Saint-Pierre (it’s one of only two road links between the two neighbouring but elevationally unequal towns). Lachine protested, then sued, and a judge ruled in Montreal West’s favour. Now it’s in the appeal stage, and Montreal West wasn’t supposed to put up a barrier until the appeal process had been exhausted.

Looks like that’s not the case.

Instead, Montreal West put up three “do not enter” signs marked “emergency exit only” (the fact they used “exit” instead of “entry” says something too) in both directions, and Lachine is taking them to court … again.

Montreal West wins this round

Montreal West has won a judgment in its favour concerning the whole Broughton Rd. Montreal West/Ville Saint-Pierre saga. Already Montreal West is being cheered by its residents and Lachine is vowing to appeal.

The dispute is over concrete barriers Montreal West put up at the border between the two towns in March. MoWest said it was to curb dangerous traffic that speeds through town as a shortcut to Highway 20 West. Lachine/VSP said it was class warfare, designed to separate the rich residents of Montreal West from the poor working class down the hill.

Of course, they’re both right.

The barrier will stay down until the appeal is decided.

It’s a war zone out there, apparently

It seems Montreal West is still trying to make the case that a barrier along the border with Ville Saint-Pierre is for traffic control and not segregation. Since I’m still convinced that this traffic problem is a figment of their imaginations, it makes quotes like this all the more ludicrous:

Residents of the southwest sector of Montreal West have been subjected to an increase in high-speed, dangerously aggressive traffic as more cars, trucks and semis use these residential streets as a shortcut.

Semis? Really? OK, then. I’ll give anyone $20 who can take a picture of a semi or other large, non-local truck barrelling down Broughton St. at high speed recently. These trucks couldn’t even navigate these streets, much less race through them at high speed.

The opinion piece makes a very valid point that it’s hypocrtical for the city to argue that fire trucks will take longer to get there when they’re closing the closest fire station. Of course, the solution to that is not to close the fire station.

Finally, the one question that’s been nagging me and that MoWest’s apologists haven’t answered: if this is all about traffic flow, why was the barrier exactly on the border? Why not cut off Ainslie and Easton streets from Westminster, like they did Broughton? Why not get VSP to cut off its access to Highway 20 through Norman St.?

What are you doing driving on my street?

Another day, another group of angry rich homeowners who want nobody to use their streets but them.

James Shaw Street in Beaconsfield, the Cavendish extension, and now residents of Montreal West are upset because one of their roads is being used by people who are not them. And their arguments just don’t hold water.

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