April Borough Council Meeting:  

Council returns in-person to discuss borough cleanliness and traffic measures

The meeting takes place on the first Tuesday of each month, where citizens can attend virtually and send in their questions. Photo: Matias Brunet-Kirk – NEWSFIRST

The borough held its regularly scheduled monthly borough council meeting last Tuesday evening, where elected officials met to answer questions from citizens and vote on borough initiatives.

City councillors wished Muslim residents a happy start to the holy month of Ramadan before elaborating on issues such as borough cleanliness, the traffic appeasement plan and a commemoration date of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. 

The meeting takes place on the first Tuesday of each month where citizens can attend in person or virtually. Citizens can also send in their questions to be answered by the mayor and city councillors.

The meeting was held in person for the first time since the end of 2021 to the great pleasure of elected officials. Present were borough mayor Laurence Lavigne Lalonde and city councillors Mary Deros, Sylvain Ouellet, Josué Corvil and Martine Musau Muele, along with city employees.

“We have the objective of ensuring better cleanliness on the entire territory with several actions on education, but we also know that sometimes we have to use a stick rather than a carotte,”

Cleanliness in the district

Littering and illegal garbage dumping is a recurring problem in Park Ex and elected officials stated they would now take a stronger approach to tackle the issue. 

“We have worked on a cleanliness plan that will be presented shortly,” said borough mayor Laurence Lavigne Lalonde, adding that the borough would increase fines and give more discretionary powers to inspectors.

“We have the objective of ensuring better cleanliness on the entire territory with several actions on education, but we also know that sometimes we have to use a stick rather than the carotte,” she said.

The newly adopted rule increases fines for putting trash out on the wrong day and not maintaining residential and commercial properties. Fines now range between $250 and $1,000 and make it more difficult to contest a ticket. 

“The owner and occupant of a building or dwelling must maintain the public domain adjacent to their property, the establishment or the dwelling they occupy,” read the rule, adding that the property and street-front must be kept free of all obstructions and any dirty or harmful material. 

Council voted to increase fines to address littering and illegal garbage dumping in Park Ex. Photo: Matias Brunet-Kirk – NEWSFIRST

Return of the brigade propreté

In addition to the new rules, the borough council announced it would bring back the brigade propreté cleanliness squad. This consists of 5 full-time inspectors that patrol the borough to ensure cleanliness and who have the power to hand out fines. 

​​“We’ve given enough warnings, it’s the same people and the same places who don’t respect keeping the environment clean, so it’s time to give out fines,” said city councillor Mary Deros, adding that “when it’s going to hurt their pocketbooks, then they will begin to act better.”

“Give out the fines and say enough is enough, cleanup! Here’s the first fine, you don’t take care of your situation, well here’s the second fine and it will be double,” stated Deros in an interview. 

Deros also reminded residents that flower beds and greened curb extensions were not public dumping grounds for garbage. “Keep your garbage at home in bags or bins, but not on the curb or in flower beds,” she added.  

Traffic calming measures and pedestrian streets 

Elected officials went over some of the key aspects of the newly released traffic appeasement plan, encouraging residents to take part in the consultative process where they can give their comments and feedback by Apr. 18. 

“The objective is really to take the whole borough and analyze it by sector, understanding the issues related to safety to reduce speed, limit transit on local streets and secure the approaches to schools,” said mayor Lavigne Lalonde

Borough council also ratified a motion to make it easier and cheaper for restaurant and café owners to install patios and placottoirs in front of their businesses in residential areas. “Many measures to help out our business owners,” remarked mayor Lavigne Lalonde. 

The mayor also reiterated a city centre announcement for the pedestrianization of several Montreal streets, including de Castelnau in neighbouring Villeray. She added that the renewal was in response to strong demand from residents and business owners. 

Councillors returned in-person to discuss borough cleanliness and traffic measures. Photo: Matias Brunet-Kirk – NEWSFIRST

Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide 

Later in the evening, the borough council voted in favour of a proclamation setting Apr. 24 2022 as the Armenian Genocide Memorial Day, acting in solidarity with the Armenian community of Montreal.

Councillor Mary Deros, who is herself of Armenian descent and whose family faced persecution and violence during the 1915 genocide, gave a speech highlighting the announcement. 

“This terrible event marks the history of an entire people and has tainted our humanity,” said Deros adding that “those who had suffered most during these atrocities were women and children.”

“Unfortunately we have seen different forms of persecution and genocide since the Armenian genocide,” added Deros, explaining that she hoped that by remembering these atrocities we may one day prevent them. 

​​The next borough council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Residents can tune in virtually or in person and send in their questions to be answered by borough officials. 

Councillor Mary Deros, who is of Armenian descent, gave a speech for the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Photo: Matias Brunet-Kirk – NEWSFIRST