$9 million goes to buy nature spaces south of St-Elzéar Blvd.

The City of Laval’s executive-committee gave the go-ahead last week for city council to proceed with the purchase of two lots located south of Saint-Elzéar Blvd. and east of Curé Labelle Blvd. in order to add them to Laval’s growing network of green spaces and forestlands.

Last September, the city had declared certain pieces of land to be on reserve status for two years, in order to prevent any developers from snatching them up.

This, according to the city, would give the municipal officials, enough time to negotiate their purchase from the owners, and allow the lots to be protected ecologically and improved with that in mind.

A group of residents had been lobbying the city to declare a moratorium on development of those properties at the same time.

“When the struggle against climate change remains ongoing and it is more important than ever to promote biodiversity, we are especially proud to be able to invest in the protection of these natural spaces which are of immense ecological value,” said Mayor Stéphane Boyer.

“With this purchase, we are taking yet another step towards achieving our goal of investing $100 million for the protection and promotion of our natural spaces. What should also be remembered is that a significant part of the area to be acquired would have been developed if the city had not stepped forward to become the buyer.”

Covered extensively by swamps and wet areas, the lots in question are crossed by the Papineau-Lavoie stream. As the last remaining natural spaces in the middle of an area of Laval that has become quite densely built up, it is believed the lots will help deal with the “heat island” phenomenon which has become a common characteristic of urban living.

“The protection of these natural spaces will allow biodiversity to be maintained in this sector, while filtering water passing through the area, and improving the flow of water along the Papineau-Lavoie stream,” said Laval city councillor for Laval-des-Rapides Alexandre Warnet, who sits on the executive-committee with responsibilities for environmental dossiers.

City gave $600,000 to development agencies to help re-start post-pandemic economy

City of Laval officials announced on Feb. 24 that the city granted $600,000 in subsidies in 2020 and 2021 to a social economy development agency as well as to a fund that encourages young entrepreneurs, as part of a municipal campaign to help jump-start the post-pandemic economy in Laval.

The Fonds Jeunes Promoteurs (FJP) and the Fonds Économie Sociale (FES) will are distributing the subsidies to 25 Laval-based businesses. According to the city, the support is part of an overall $1.9 million package of funding which helped to create 65 jobs.

“Subsidies paid out to young entrepreneurs led to the creation of 10 businesses,” said Mayor Stéphane Boyer.

Amélie Proulx, co-founder of Épicerie Alterrenative, which has benefited from the subsidies. (Photo: Courtesy of City of Laval)

“As for the amounts allotted to the FES, they were able to start three businesses while financing 12 growth-oriented and innovative projects on our territory. “We believe firmly that entrepreneurialism plays an important role in re-starting our economy,” he added.

“This is why we support businesses through financial assistance, but also through strategic counselling and guidance in all phases of their development. Don’t hesitate to call upon the services of Laval’s economic development department.”