Martin C. Barry
As the first municipal administration in the City of Laval since the lamentable end of the Vaillancourt era, Mayor Marc Demers and the Mouvement Lavallois are running for re-election on a record of reform achieved since they assumed the reins of power at Laval city hall almost four years ago.
Demers and executive-committee member Virginie Dufour (who is city councillor for Sainte-Rose) formally announced the ML’s candidates for north and western Laval districts during a briefing for the media held on Aug. 24 at the Restaurant Sainte-Rose on Curé-Labelle Blvd.
Four of the six city council candidates are incumbents seeking a second term: Ste-Dorothée councillor Ray Khalil, Laval-les-Îles councillor Nicholas Borne, Marc-Auréle-Fortin councillor Gilbert Dumas and Dufour.
The two new candidates are Yannick Langlois, who hopes to win in the district of l’Orée-des-Bois where incumbent ML councillor Raynald Adams is stepping aside; and Ziaad Ghantous, who is running in the district of Fabreville, where Parti Laval mayoral candidate Michel Trottier is currently the city councillor.
‘Spectacular progress,’ says mayor
“Our new team took the reins of the city in 2013 when there was great confusion,” said Demers. “The progress has been spectacular. Our youthful elected officials have completely reformed Laval. Integrity and rigor have become the pillars of our municipal culture. Out on the territory, the citizens congratulate us for the road we’ve travelled and they are encouraging us to pursue the transformation that’s underway.”
Dufour added, “We are a young team and so we had to learn very quickly. The work that had to be done was immense and we managed to steer an immense ship in the right direction. Not everything is perfect yet, and that is why we are determined to pursue the changes if the citizens are once again willing to place their confidence in us.”
Focusing on the ML administration’s achievements in north and western Laval, the mayor noted that in Laval-Les-Îles major refurbishments took place in the past four years at the Bigras community centre and at the Philippe-Panneton public library branch. As well, he pointed out that the construction of permanent new bridges to l’Île Verte and Île Bigras is underway, with temporary bridges in place for now.
In Sainte-Dorothée, according to Demers, the construction of a new community centre is set to start in 2018. The facility has long been awaited by the residents of the district. As well, the renovation of the Martin-St-Louis Arena is now completed. Another project which was completed was the resurfacing of Bord-de-l’Eau Road.
In Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, Chomedey Blvd. was extended during the ML’s term in office at a cost of approximately $7.2 million. As well, the construction of an anti-noise wall against Autoroute 13 is currently under study. Another sound barrier along Autoroute 15 is on schedule to be refurbished beginning next spring.
In Fabreville, the city plans to spend $15 million on a variety of infrastructure projects, including $8.3 million for further development of St-Elzéar Blvd. For months now, residents living near Champfleury Park have been enjoying new volleyball courts and a dog run which has been completely renovated.
“Our administration did a lot in the district of Fabreville,” commented Demers. Although he didn’t single out by name the district’s current city councillor who leads the opposition Parti Laval, the mayor took an indirect shot: “I believe that the citizens of the district will send to city hall a councillor who will be there to represent their interests rather than defend his personal political agenda.”
Demers went on to note that in Sainte-Rose the ML administration proceeded in the past four years with the construction of the Éco-Nature pavilion at a cost of some $10.3 million. As well, there was the creation of a new park on Place Ste-Claire, the addition of new water games for children at Renaissance Park, and the improvement of green spaces on André-Chénier St. He also said work is set to begin this autumn on a major transformation of the Berge des Baigneurs in the heart of Vieux Sainte-Rose.
Finally, Demers outlined the accomplishments of the ML in the past four years in the district of l’Orée-des-Bois. They include the purchase by the city for $1.4 million of a piece of land along Arthur-Sauvé Blvd. near the Arthur-Sauvé bridge for the development of a new riverside park. As well, he noted the ongoing development of Cousteau Park which is also underway.