An update on what happened
The borough held its regularly scheduled monthly borough council meeting last Tuesday evening, where city officials and politicians meet virtually to answer questions from citizens and vote on borough initiatives.
Being discussed this month were several topics such as the consultation of children in the planning of parks and green spaces, the construction of a new cricket pitch in the borough and the continued funding of several community organizations.
The meeting takes place on the first Tuesday of each month and citizens can attend virtually by joining the live stream on the city’s website. Citizens can also send in their questions to be answered by the mayor and city councillors.
Present were Mayor Giuliana Fumagalli and city councillors Mary Deros, Sylvain Ouellet, Rosannie Filato and Josué Corvil, along with city employees. This was the first meeting since July, as there was no regularly scheduled borough council meeting during August.
Youth consultation for parks
First on the agenda at this month’s meeting was a motion presented by Villeray borough councillor Rosannie Filato in which a process would be put in place to allow children and youth to have a say in the planning stages of parks and green spaces.
“The way we see parks isn’t necessarily the same way children see them,” she added, explaining the motions importance “which aims to create a public consultation process that includes the voice of children.”
“It’s a really beautiful motion that gives children a say,” added Filato, explaining that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child guided her in shaping the initiative.
“States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child,” cited Filato from the Convention’s Article 12.
The motion was supported unanimously by both Mayor Giuliana Fumagalli and all other borough councillors. “What’s really important to us is to give official status to our kids when we’re consulting and to implement it systematically,” added Filato, thanking her colleagues for their support.
“The voice of children is direct and honest, as it is not influenced by any political program,” stated Fumagalli, adding that this would encourage youth to take part in shaping the society they want to live in. “If something seems unjust, they will say it,” she stated.
Both Sylvain Ouellet, Mary Deros and Josué Corvil supported the motion, all highlighting the importance of getting youth in the borough involved in democratic processes. Filato was thanked for her involvement during her mandate and was told she would be missed, as she is not running again in the upcoming election.
New cricket pitch
Parc-Extension cricketers may also be seeing new and improved facilities for their sport coming in the near future. Council voted for a motion presented by city councillor Mary Deros and supported by Josué Corvil to study the potential construction of a third cricket pitch in the borough.
“More and more, I see young people playing cricket in schoolyards and alleyways,” said Deros, adding that the existing infrastructure at Howard Parc was greatly appreciated by local cricketers, but was not enough to cater to all players in the area.
“South Asians, people from Great Britain and those from the Caribbean and the Antilles, this is their sport and they need more spaces,” said Deros before asking the rest of the council for their support in adopting the motion.
It requests the borough’s sports and recreations services department to study various options and implementation scenarios for a future cricket pitch in the borough. Deros said this could come as soon as early 2022.
Financial contributions to local organizations
The borough also voted on several financial contributions to local community organizations and initiatives.
$34,513 was attributed to the Parc-Extension Round Table for the period between Sept. 8 2021 and Mar. 31, 2022, through the Montreal initiative for support in local social development. A further $24,622 was approved to go to the Corporation of Community Development Solidarité Villeray for 2021-2022.
Another $330,000 was granted to the Corporation de Gestion des Loisirs du Parc for the period between Oct. 1 2021 to Jul. 31, 2022. This will cover expenses associated with working out of the William-Hingston Complex, including reception, surveillance, management of premises and sanitary maintenance.
It was also announced that the city center had revised and raised its financial contribution in the renovation of the Howard Park chalet. It is now going to contribute $319,693 to contracting fees and $29,682 to architectural services.
The next regularly scheduled borough council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 PM and can be viewed online.