Martin C. Barry
While announcing the completion of a five-year action strategy to improve social development in Laval, city officials also revealed that Laval will be receiving almost $9 million in subsidies from at least one private source to help implement the wide-ranging plan.
Mayor Marc Demers and CISSS de Laval CEO Christian Gagné and were on hand at the Maison des Arts de Laval to hear the announcement of the subsidies made by Jean-Marc Chouinard, president of the Lucie and André Gagnon Foundation.
A five-year plan
The city’s new regional policy for social development (PRDS) covers the years 2019 – 2024. A steering committee including members chosen from social service organizations from all over Laval was on hand to take part in the launch.
While the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation is donating $7.5 million to help with implementation of the plan, additional sums are expected to be announced before long, according to the City of Laval.
A planning tool, says mayor
Following workshops in which more than 170 community group leaders from Laval participated, nearly a dozen out of 31 goals from the PRDS were made priorities, while 51 courses of action were identified, the city says.
“This action plan is the end result of our willingness to equip the region with a planning tool that will allow it to act in a coordinated way with regards to the development of neighbourhoods on a human scale and where life will be good,” said Mayor Demers.
Reducing social inequality
“With most of this project leading to the adoption of this action plan allowing us to consolidate the commitment of partners while encouraging interest in a common purpose, we are very proud of this accomplishment,” he added.
The head of the CISSS de Laval was just as enthusiastic while describing the impact the plan should have on future social development in Laval. “This action plan is shaping up to be an indispensable tool for us and our partners so that we can act on multidimensional problems such as the creation of favourable environments and the reduction of social inequalities in matters of health,” Christian Gagné said.
Quality of life issues
“The actions that are collectively retained will ensure the deployment of new projects which will have a direct or indirect impact on the quality of life of the population of Laval. We are proud to have taken part in this movement favouring social development.”
Jean-Marc Chouinard emphasized the importance of implementing the plan.
“It would be important that all Laval residents involved with the implementation of the action plan have the tools necessary to fulfill it and that they are thus able to put into place sustainable conditions which will reduce the causes of inequality and the barriers to educational success,” he said.
Plan okay, says SWLSB chair
Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board chairman Paolo Galati who attended the strategy launch believes it is a good idea for the city to enact a plan for social development that draws all the stakeholders into the process.
“In a city and region such as ours, having the means to build social development is so important,” he said. “And so bringing all these organizations together, including the two school boards, is also important and also good overall for a city like ours.”