Mount Royal in the municipal elections: meetings with the mayoral candidates

2013-10-31

Les amis' objective: keep the protection and enhancement of Mount Royal at the top of political priorities to ensure that it received specific attention and actions that recognize the exceptional social, environmental and economic value of this heritage site


31 octobre 2013 - Les amis de la montagne have a long tradition of non-partisan participation in the political process. Our objective is to keep the protection and enhancement of Mount Royal at the top of political priorities to ensure that it received specific attention and actions that recognize the exceptional social, environmental and economic value of this heritage site located in the heart of our city.

With over 30 years’ experience and following the success of the 2013 Mount Royal Summit, Les amis de la montagne bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to discussions regarding the mountain’s protection challenges. In this context, members of the Board of Directors and management team of Les amis de la montagne met with the four main candidates for Mayor of Montreal at Smith House to talk about the priority challenges facing the mountain and to seek commitments from the candidates that respond most directly to these challenges.

Two issues in particular were the focal point of discussions: finding solutions for the reuse of institutional properties on the mountain and the creation of a better management model for Mount Royal. New to the municipal political arena, Denis Coderre and Mélanie Joly listened to our concerns rather than offering concrete commitments. As a Director of the Board of Les amis de la montagne and major contributor in the organization of the Mount Royal Summit, Marcel Côté, who suspended all activities with Les amis de la montagne during the campaign period, had several projects to discuss with us, as well as ideas for the reuse of institutional buildings. Richard Bergeron, who has been in municipal politics since 2005, also had ideas and suggestions for the protection and enhancement of Mount Royal.

For each of the candidates, we re-examined the major themes discussed during the Mount Royal Summit to underline the importance of taking priority action for the mountain:

  • The reuse of institutional buildings on the mountain for vocations of a public nature and mixed-use. Many potential uses for these buildings exist, but the collaboration between public and private entities is essential in order to arrive at a financial and social return for the long term.
  • The need to evaluate the tools currently in place and to strengthen the criteria to ensure the protection of views from and towards Mount Royal, as required, in order to protect the mountain’s historic and cultural heritage, its identity, and its emblematic role for Montreal.
  • The importance of creating ecological corridors to link existing green spaces within the Mount Royal territory, as well as with other green spaces in Montreal and managing the natural environment on the mountain, particularly to reconcile accessibility and protection.
  • Finding effective solutions to the complex issue of Mount Royal’s management, such as the need to reinforce the current management structure and mechanisms in place and their scope, namely that of the Bureau du Mont-Royal and the Table de concertation du Mont-Royal. Also discussed was the establishment of a regulatory framework as a means to coordinate interventions on Mount Royal and clearly-defined criteria to evaluate the acceptability of projects.

We invite you to consult the candidates’ platforms, as well as the debate held by the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal held October 7 last on the subject of transportation and the environment, where Mount Royal was mentioned numerous times.

The person who will lead Montreal after the November 3 elections has a sizeable challenge ahead. Les amis de la montagne are hopeful that the challenges for the protection and enhancement of Mount Royal are integrated in the city’s strategies and development plans, and that the necessary actions are taken quickly to allow the perpetuity of Mount Royal for the benefit of all Montrealers and Quebecers. Please exercise your right to vote on November 3!

L to R: Robert Alain, Jeffrey Drummond, Armand De Mestral, Patrick Kenniff, Sylvie Guilbault, Denis Coderre, Peter A. Howlett, Helen Fotopulos, Marie-Odile Trépanier
 
L to R: Sylvie Guilbault, Mélanie Joly, Peter A. Howlett
 
L to R: Sylvie Guilbault, Marcel Côté, Judith Kavanagh, Peter A. Howlett, Patrick Kenniff
 
L to R: Sylvie Guilbault, Richard Bergeron, Marie-Odile Trépanier, Robert Alain