City of Montreal pulls the plug on Cavendish again

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Côte Saint-Luc, September 14, 2012 – Only six months after announcing the Blue Bonnets agreement, which included the funding for Cavendish Blvd. road extension project, the City of Montreal has reneged on its undertaking and put the project on the back burner.
In March 2012, the City of Montreal and the Quebec government signed an agreement to transfer the Blue Bonnets race track land to the City of Montreal. One of the conditions of the transfer was an undertaking by the City of Montreal to set aside $44 million for phase 1 of the Cavendish Blvd. road extension project in its three-year Capital Works Budget. This agreement was ratified by the unanimous vote of the Montreal City Council on March 26, 2012.
Notwithstanding this undertaking in the agreement to set aside $44 million for this project and notwithstanding the unanimous resolution of Montreal City Council ratifying the agreement, the Tremblay administration has withdrawn the Cavendish Blvd. road extension project from the proposed three-year Capital Works Budget for 2013-2015, even though it was included in the last year’s three year budget (2012-2014). The proposed budget—without the funds for the Cavendish Blvd. road extension project—will be presented to Montreal City Council for adoption on September 20, 2012.
“The City of Côte Saint-Luc has worked very hard with our neighbouring cities and boroughs to convince the Tremblay administration that the Cavendish extension be made a priority,” said Anthony Housefather, Mayor of Côte Saint-Luc. “We worked with the local Liberal MNAs to find means of funding the project and over the last six months the announcements related to the Blue Bonnets site had pushed the project forward. The proposal by the City of Montreal to remove these amounts from the PTI is a complete reversal of commitments made only months ago and is completely unacceptable to those living and working in the west end and West Island of Montreal.  We will use all means at our disposal to oppose this reversal.”
As well, the new Capital Works Budget does not provide for the completion of the feasibility studies that the City of Montreal also undertook to do. Since 2005, it has spent $2.5 million on these studies but so far has refused to make them public and now is refusing to complete them.
“This omission is in total violation of the Blue Bonnets agreement and the unanimous vote of Montreal City Council,” said Côte Saint-Luc Councillor Dida Berku. “This flies in the face of the will of all the councils of the boroughs of St. Laurent, CDN-NDG and cities of Côte Saint-Luc, Town of Mount Royal, Hampstead, and Dollard des Ormeaux, which have systematically called for the extension of Cavendish to be included in the Agglomeration of Montreal Transport Plan and in the Capital Works Budget of the City of Montreal. As well it flies in the face of the conditions in the Blue Bonnets agreement with the Quebec government and is a reversal of the public commitments and pronouncements of the Tremblay administration, made six months ago.”
When the Blue Bonnets agreement was announced, Minister Raymond Bachand said that one of the conditions of the transfer was that the proceeds would be used to finance the Cavendish Blvd. road extension project and that the City of Montreal would commit to proceeding with the feasibility studies in order to advance this project.
“We encourage residents to attend the meeting at Montreal City Hall on Thursday, September 20 and voice their concerns during question period,” said Councillor Berku.
Copies of the Blue Bonnets agreement, the 2012-2014 Capital Works Budget, and a press release from the City of Montreal announcing the commitment to build the Cavendish Blvd. road extension project are available at www.CoteSaintLuc.org/CavendishExtension.

Cavendish extension plans push forward

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Cavendish extension plans push forward

Posted By: CJAD news@cjad.com · 8/13/2012 5:48:00 PM

The Quebec Liberals today raised an idea that politicians have been talking about for decades.

No less than five west-end Liberal candidates are touting the project, four of them on hand in Cote St. Luc this afternoon to discuss extending Cavendish boulevard, beyond Cote St. Luc, and into St. Laurent: Lawrence Bergman from D’Arcy-McGee, Jean-Marc Fournier from Saint-Laurent, Kathleen Weil from Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, and Pierre Arcand from Mont-Royal. Raymond Bachand from Outremont could not be there for the announcement.

There was no timetable or estimated cost. But what is on the table is the political will from the Liberal candidates to work with the city of Montreal to finally get the Cavendish extension done.

That commitment includes putting some of the government share of the profits of the sale of the Hippodrome land towards the project.

Liberal candidate for St. Laurent, Jean-Marc Fournier told reporters that the commitment to some of the funding was key to help convince and entice Montreal to push the project along.

“We could put a portion of it, we hope the best part. It’s up to the negotiation. We don’t want to take the decision from Montreal,” Fournier said.

St. Laurent borough mayor and Montreal executive committee vice-chairman Alan de Sousa said it’s a positive announcement.

“That’s a very important component of the puzzle and I can only be happy about that,” de Sousa told reporters.

But de Sousa said they still have to work out the details with the Transport Ministry.

Photo: Shuyee Lee (CJAD), Illustration: City of Cote St. luc

West End MNAs and Mayors, including D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman and Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather, at press conference announcing Cavendish link

Cavendish link now closer to realization: MNAs

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Cavendish link now closer to realization: MNAs

May 2, 2012

Joel Goldenberg. The Suburban

 

D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman, NDG MNA Kathleen Weil, Mont Royal MNA Pierre Arcand and St. Laurent MNA Jean-Marc Fournier are all lauding the recent announcement that Quebec – through the Société nationale du cheval de course – is ceding the Hippodrome land to Montreal for a future housing development. “This will allow in the coming years the development of the full potential of this large tract of land of almost 43.5 hectares, one of the last of this size close to downtown Montreal,” said a joint statement by the four MNAs.

“The transfer of the Hippodrome land and its future development are at the same time bringing us closer to the long expected realization of the link of the two parts of Cavendish Boulevard since the planning of this infrastructure comes naturally within the scope of the development of the Hippodrome site.”

The four MNAs also said they were pleased with the agreement in principle between the province and Montreal, which “confirms that an amount of $44 million is still inscribed in its triennial immobilization program for the realization of the Cavendish-Cavendish link, a road belonging to the municipal network and that lies under its responsibility.

Also, the City of Montreal took the engagement to have an update done of all studies related to the realization of the Cavendish-Cavendish link, and the costs of which will be reimbursed from the resale of the parcels of land of the Hippodrome site.”

Bergman pointed out that Raymond Bachand, the minister responsible for Montreal, announced that a portion of the revenues coming from the resale of the Hippodrome land could be reinvested in the Cavendish-Cavendish link. Bergman represents constituents in Côte St. Luc, Hampstead and part of Côte des Neiges/NDG – the councils from the three areas have passed resolutions calling for a prioritization by Quebec of the Cavendish link. The Hampstead and Côte St. Luc resolutions also ask Montreal to prioritize the link.

“This is something that surely can speed up the process,” Bergman said.

Arcand, the Mont Royal MNA whose constituency includes the Town of Mount Royal industrial park, which is close to the Hippodrome site, said TMR “has, for a long time, been asking for the realization of this project in the interests of its residents.”

The MNAs also detailed some of the next steps in the process. “In the coming months, the City of Montreal will present a plan for the Hippodrome of Montreal site, which will be the object of a public consultation process,” they jointly said. “Accordingly, the sale of the lots of the land could begin in 2017 and the real estate development of the site could be completed by 2025. The City of Montreal estimates that between 5,000 and 8,000 housing units will be built on the site amongst which approximately 15 percent will be social housing units and 15 percent low income housing.”

CSL calls on Quebec, Montreal to prioritize Cavendish link

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CSL calls on Quebec, Montreal to prioritize Cavendish link

Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

March 21, 2012

Côte St. Luc council unanimously passed a resolution last week calling on the Quebec government and the City of Montreal to prioritize a link between Cavendish Boulevard in Côte St. Luc and St. Laurent, via Royalmount in Town of Mount Royal.

Côte des Neiges-NDG council recently passed a resolution asking Quebec to make the link a priority. Town of Mount Royal also passed a resolution. The link has been discussed for more than 40 years. During the merger years, a project bureau was set up specifically for the link, but while it came up with a design for the route, the project has remained on the shelf.

Councillor Dida Berku introduced Côte St. Luc’s resolution, which said that city reaffirms its support for the Cavendish-Royalmount-Cavendish link and that it considers the project “a key element to improving traffic flow in the central portion of the island of Montreal. “The project should be included and designated as a priority in the next agreement between the Quebec Ministry of Transport and the City of Montreal,” the resolution adds.

Copies of Côte St. Luc’s resolution are being sent to Quebec Transport Minister Pierre Moreau, D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman, Montreal’s executive committee, and all mayors and councils in the islandwide Montreal agglomeration. A copy will also be deposited at the next Montreal agglomeration meeting. The resolution was seconded by Councillor Glenn Nashen.

Berku said the concept and the plan for the link exist, and even went to the Quebec environment ministry. “And then the plug was pulled by the city of Montreal at the time of demerger,” she added. “We want to put it back on track, and now that the city of Montreal is negotiating an agreement with the Quebec transport ministry, we want them to put it back as a priority, and we’re very happy Côte des Neiges-NDG has adopted the same resolution. TMR has done the same. We hope our MNA and the transport minister will listen to our mayor and proceed to add this to their entente.”

Earlier at Monday’s council meeting, Mayor Anthony Housefather told council regular Bernard Tonchin that at a recent agglomeration meeting, he was told Montreal considered other projects higher priorities. “I stated this was unacceptable to Côte St. Luc, that there was money in the agglomeration budget for the extension of Cavendish that we pushed to have in when the transport plan was adopted at the last round, and the only impediment was that they didn’t know what the railways were going to do,” Housefather explained, adding that he was also told the railways are staying. “That fulfilled the criteria for Cavendish going ahead, because that’s what was stated in the transport plan.”

The mayor also said he asked for, and got, support from the Association of Suburban Mayors for the link, and that he and TMR’s mayor have written to Moreau, “asking for a meeting to once again discuss Cavendish and ask Quebec to make it a priority in the entente being worked out between the Quebec government and City of Montreal on funding for transport projects. We have continued to lobby our MNAs, and our MNAs advised me they continue to lobby the minister.”

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CSL asks province, agglo, Montreal to support Cavendish extension

Isaac Olson, The Free Press

March 27, 2012

Right on the heels of a neighbouring Montreal borough’s pro-Cavendish-extension motion, Côte St. Luc also voted to demand Quebec’s support in what would, proponents say, finally give the West End a reliable alternative to the seemingly permanent congestion found on Decarie Blvd. and the expressway.

“Be it resolved that the city of Côte St. Luc reaffirms its support in favour of the Cavendish-Royalmount-Cavendish extension project,” said councillor Dida Berku reading from the motion’s conclusion. The city, she continued, considers “the Cavendish-Royalmount-Cavendish extension project a key element to improving traffic flow for public, private and active transit for the central portion of the island of Montreal.” Berku said a copy of the motion will be sent to provincial officials, all mayors/ councils within the agglomeration and deposited at the next agglomeration meeting.

The resolution states Montreal, by unanimous resolution of the city council, established a project bureau with a budget of $5 million with “a precise mandate to manage the Cavendish extension project, including the adoption of the final route proposal by 2006 and the design and completion of the work between 2007 and 2012.” However, Berku noted, “We are now in 2012 and what we know is, the only thing that has happened is the [project bureau] did do its work and they did conceive of a very good design.”

The concept and plan is there, she said, but things fell apart with the demerger and “we want to put it back on track.”

CSL’s measure goes beyond CDN-NDG’s by also demanding Montreal’s support. It’s Montreal that now needs to get behind the fight, said Mayor Anthony Housefather, as CDN-NDG does not represent the entire city.

When asked to confirm where Montreal stands on the issue, city spokesperson Darren Becker said the extension has been listed on the urban transportation plan’s to-do list since 2008 and the plan outlines a need to connect CSL’s Cavendish Blvd. with St. Laurent’s Cavendish Blvd. and Royalmount.

There is $45 million set aside in the budget for the some $150 million project, he continued, but it is up to the Quebec government to back the rest. While a few projects involving Metro and East End road renovations are topping the priority list, the Cavendish extension is still very much part of the transport plan, according to Becker, but Quebec needs to finance the project.

This is not the first time CSL’s council has voiced strong support for the extension nor is it a new issue. The borough of St. Laurent first passed a similar measure back in 1981 and, more recently, TMR hopped into the fray with a motion of its own.

“Remember, we are having more homes built behind the Cavendish Mall,” Bernard Tonchin told the council at the start of the March 12 meeting. “There are only two exits to get in and out of Côte St. Luc, and Decarie is impassable with all the construction going on now.

We desperately need Cavendish.” Housefather said, since 1998, CSL has been at the forefront of efforts to realize the extension. Housefather reported that he has been in touch with Montreal officials, like CDN-NDG mayor and executive committee chair Michael Applebaum. Applebaum said Montreal’s priorities were elsewhere, said Housefather.

The association of suburban mayors is supporting the extension, he said, and a joint letter has been sent to the Quebec government asking for support. The mayor pledged to continue bringing the issue up during agglomeration council meetings as, he said, there is money in the agglomeration budget to realize the project.

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Extract from: Quebec to cede Hippodrome land to Montreal for ‘city within a city’

Bachand commits to Cavendish link

Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

March 28, 2012

••• Bachand also said constituents of the Outremont (Côte des Neiges} and D’Arcy McGee ridings should also be pleased, as part of the announcement reiterates Quebec’s commitment to the Cavendish-Cavendish link. As part of the Quebec-Montreal agreement, part of the funds gathered from land sales could be reinvested towards the extension project between St. Laurent, Town of Mount Royal and Côte St. Luc.

“There are reserves of $45 million that the city has already put in, in capital investments, and that is protected,” the minister said. “The city will make studies, in terms of updates on the cost of the project and then we’ll take it from there in future years.”

Bachand told The Suburban that recent resolutions from Côte des Neiges-NDG, Côte St. Luc and TMR played an important role in the link resurfacing again. The resolutions asked Quebec to prioritize the link. “For us and our MNAs, Cavendish is very important,” Bachand told The Suburban.  “The resolution passed in Côte des Neiges-NDG is very, very important, because it shows that a consensus exists now. Now, it’s time to update the studies on the cost of the project, for engineering. As part of the agreement, the city undertakes to update the studies to see what the project should look like at the end of the day.”

Bergman, the D’Arcy McGee MNA, was pleased with the Hippodrome and Cavendish announcements. “The Hippodrome will be good for ecology and modernize the west end of the city, and attract to the west end some wonderful housing, properly planned, with parks, playgrounds, schools and commerces to serve families,” he said. “This will help our family policy. “We’re also in a step in the right direction for Cavendish- Cavendish,” Bergman added. “The studies will be updated, looked at and certainly be part of the mix of this development. With the increase of housing in the Namur triangle and now with the development of the Hippodrome section, certainly north-south arteries will have to be further developed and this brings Cavendish into the mix. I’m delighted.”

Finance Minister visits CSL Senior Men’s Club

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Mayor Anthony Housefather, Finance Minister Raymond Bachand, Councillor Mike Cohen, Men’s Club President Sidney Margles, MNA Lawrence Bergman

 

Yesterday the Cote Saint-Luc Senior Men’s Club welcomed D’Arcy McGee Member of the National Assembly Lawrence Bergman with special guest Raymond Bachand, Quebec Minister of Finance.

A lawyer by profession, Bachand also has a doctorate of administration from the Université de Montréal and an MBA from Harvard University.  He was elected MNA for Outremont in a by-election in December 2005, and re-elected in 2007 and 2008. He headed the ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation, and the ministère du Tourisme. Premier Jean Charest appointed him Minister of Finance and he was also entrusted with the Revenue ministry.

Mr. Bergman began by presenting Senior Men’s Club President Sidney Margles with a $1,000 cheque from the Quebec government for the Men’s Club. 

Bergman then introduced Bachand, whom he credited with assisting on three important files in the riding: the saving of our Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program; the millions of dollars of support from the government for the Aquatic Community Centre which is being funded by the Quebec and Canadian governments and Côte Saint-Luc; and another substantial contribution to the construction of Pavillion K of the Jewish General Hospital which will focus on patients requiring emergency treatment, surgery, or intensive, coronary, or neonatal intensive care.

“For Pavillion K I was originally told I had a half hour to discuss our role with the premier,” Bergman recalled. “When I walked into his office, who was sitting there but my good friend Raymond Bachand. Now I knew I would be successful. And I was.”

Bergman also recalls going to Israel with Bachand and sharing in the experience of visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum. “I can only describe with one word and that is a mensch,” Bergman said, referring to the Yiddish translation for “a person of integrity and honour.

Bachand captivated the audience with a power point presentation on the Quebec economy and left time to answer questions. “Our five-year financial framework will stay in place,” he commented. “We are going back to a balanced budget, we are going to control our debt. But we are doing so while protecting health and education. That’s a choice we’ve made in Quebec.”

In March Bachand tabled a “stay the course” budget, meaning he intends to keep on the path toward eliminating the provincial deficit by 2013-2014. “The Quebec economy is going well,” he assured us. “During the recession we were very active in providing financial support to good companies and stepped in with guaranteed bank loans. As a result we created an additional 60,000 jobs. If we had done nothing, by 2013-2014 we would have had a $12 billion deficit.”

(With reporting by Cllr. Mike Cohen)