Laval mayor Stéphane Boyer and Action Laval city councillor for Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Paolo Galati say they have reached an understanding on two major dossiers affecting the east end of Laval – the future of the Old Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Penitentiary and the extension of Saint-Martin Blvd. East.
The Old Pen, which has been recognized by the federal government as a national historic site for a good number of years, has been falling into greater deterioration since it has stood vacant near the centre of the village of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.
The Boyer administration and Action Laval have agreed that a working committee for technical issues will be set up by city council and will develop recommendations to municipal and federal leaders for the future of the former penitentiary site.
As for the extension of Saint-Martin Blvd. East, the City of Laval has been contemplating extending Laval’s heavily-trafficked main street eastward for years into the districts of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul and Saint-François.
For now, the plan, as agreed by the city administration and Action Laval, is to fast-track the dossier and consult higher levels of government on the possibility of implementing a type of transit system along the axis so as to unite Laval’s east and west sectors.
“It is a pleasure to work on the realization of major projects in a spirit of collaboration,” Mayor Boyer said in a statement about the new working relationship between the administration and Action Laval.
“I feel sure that by speaking with one voice, these priority dossiers will make their way more easily and more quickly. After all, it is the citizens who will come out as winners. Laval’s east end has great development potential and we agree to do this now.”
“I have been working for a very long time on this dossier,” said Galati. “By collaborating with the mayor, we are sending a strong message to the federal government to get this project going. As several solutions in the district are affected by this dossier, this is excellent news for all of east-end Laval.”
City’s public libraries hold first used book sale in two years
Last weekend, it was time for hundreds of book readers from Laval to get out to the Cartier Arena in Pont-Viau for the first sale of used books and other library materials and documents since 2019, just before the Covid pandemic started.
From Friday April 29 to Sunday May 1, more than 100,000 items – a record, according to library officials – were up for sale. They included soft and hard cover volumes, comic books in French and English, CDs and DVDs. All were available for purchase at $3 per kilo, $1 per single item, and magazines at 10 cents a piece.
“Each year, the library sale is awaited with great anticipation by all Laval residents,” said Sainte-Rose city councillor Flavia Alexandra Novac, who is responsible for dossiers involving the municipal library. “It’s an occasion to make new cultural discoveries at a very good price, to update the home library, or maybe even to develop a passion for reading.”
Although library officials hadn’t calculated the numbers for this year’s sale, the 2019 event attracted more than 4,000 customers over three days, while 89 per cent of the books and other materials available were sold, and 4,200 books were remitted to non-profit organizations as donations.
STL strike cancelled after union, management reach agreement
The Société de transport de Laval and the union representing 625 STL bus drivers have reached an agreement in principle, thus averting an all-out strike that could have disrupted bus service in Laval this summer.
A strike that was set to take place this week has been cancelled, according to union representatives.
The drivers’ local of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) confirmed the decision last Friday, when final details remained to be worked out. The strike had been scheduled to take place from May 3 to 10.
Exact contents of the tentative agreement were not immediately revealed, as union officials said they wanted to consult the membership first. As it is, a general membership meeting will be held on May 12 to vote on the tentative agreement. The last collective agreement for STL bus drivers had expired in August 2019. The dispute was mainly about wages.