Council proposal would ban door-to-door circulars – unless permitted

Revelakis asks city to back motion recognizing ‘genocide’ in Sri Lanka

A motion calling for the City of Laval’s executive-committee to authorize the administration to study the possibility of limiting the door-to-door distribution of plastic bags stuffed with retail circulars and community newspapers will be tabled at a future Laval city council meeting.

Banning store circulars

The proposal was tabled by Laval-des-Rapides city councillor Alexandre Warnet, the executive-committee associate member responsible for environment dossiers.

He noted during the June 8 extended meeting of Laval city council that the city had already taken the initiative some years back to ban the use of plastic bags by retailers, as well as the use of single-use plastic forks and knives by take-out restauranteurs.

Laval city councillor for Laval-des-Rapides Alexandre Warnet, who is responsible for environment dossiers on the executive-committee, has tabled a notice of motion for a new regulation prohibiting door-to-door distribution of bagged circulars, except to households that specifically request it.

Under the measure proposed by Warnet, households in Laval would automatically not receive the handout bags (commonly known by the brand name PubliSac), unless they post a notice on the front door stating they wish to receive the printed materials.

Wasteful, says Warnet

“Our local media are important and we count on them,” Warnet insisted, emphasizing that the purpose of the proposed measure is not to undermine local newspapers, which are largely distributed along with weekly commercial circulars, but rather to reduce the environmental impact of large amounts of printed materials often ending up in the recycling box, frequently without even being seen.

Parti Laval city councillor for Fabreville Claude Larochelle was reluctant to endorse Warnet’s motion as presented.

Seniors use circulars

He said it isn’t a decision that should be made by the city’s bureaucracy, but rather ought to be handled by a special committee consisting of city council members and representatives of the businesses and individuals who stand to be impacted.

He pointed out that the individuals most frequently using the circulars are senior citizens who tend to not be on the Internet as much as younger people, as well as persons who are less well off financially, and newly-arrived immigrants who haven’t quite settled down yet.

Larochelle’s proposed amendment was defeated, although the Action Laval opposition councillors voted to support it.

Automatic non-delivery

The way Laval’s retail circular distribution system works now, householders who would rather not receive circulars must request a special pictogram sticker from the city, which is then affixed to the home’s front door to advise the circular delivery person.

Under the proposed new system, the default mode would be non-delivery and the door sticker would advise the deliverer that circulars are welcome at that address. Warnet said there are alternative ways to provide discount coupons and sales information to people lacking Internet access.

“I feel certain that with all the intelligent input from around the table, including consultation with the local media, we will reach an intelligent conclusion, with the goal being to reduce our ecological impact,” he said.

‘Genocide’ in Sri Lanka

Laval city councillor for Chomedey Aglaia Revelakis (second from left) is seen here with Venoth Navajeevanantha, president of the Quebec Tamil Community Center (second from right), and two other leaders from the Montreal Tamil community. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

During the city councillors’ announcements portion of the June 7 meeting, Chomedey councillor Aglaia Revelakis served a notice that she intends to table a resolution at the July council meeting calling on Laval city council to recognize the extreme violence committed against the Tamil people in Sri Lanka as a genocide.

Her motion refers to the civil war in Sri Lanka (1983 – 2009), during which up to 40,000 civilians were killed, according to United Nations estimates made in 2009 when the civil war ended. Revelakis is urging Laval city council to recognize certain actions that took place during the civil war as constituting genocidal conduct.

Attending the council meeting on June 7 was Venoth Navajeevanantha, president of the Quebec Tamil Community Center, along with two of his colleagues. Revelakis asked for and was granted a minute of silence in the council chamber in memory of the Sri Lankan civil war’s victims.