Laval City Hall Watch – October 12 2016

Laval City Hall Watch - October 12 2016

City Watch

Executive Committee approves brief concerning Electric Light Rail (REM) system 

The members of the executive committee have approved Laval’s written brief concerning the development of an electric light rail transportation system for the Greater Montreal region (Reseau electrique metropolitain -REM). Due to the magnitude of the project its developer the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) was mandated by Quebec’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change to partner with the Office of Public Hearings on the Environment (BAPE) to organize open hearings.

The first part of the consultation process began on 29th of August. Conferences were scheduled to present the project, provide information and details of the proposed transit system to the public and other interested parties. The second part of the process which began September 26th involves receiving commentary and written briefs from interested and affected parties. It is hoped that the process will address and illuminate important matters concerning the service and impact of the electric light rail system on the population and environment.

The project is a new integrated transportation network linking downtown Montreal, South Shore, West Island, North Shore and the airport. As a single, integrated transportation network, the REM will offer a number of efficient travel options in the Greater Montréal area. Connections between the new network and existing bus, metro and train systems have also been designed to simplify itineraries. According to its developers the frequent service running from 5:00 am to 1:00 am, twenty hours a day represents a new paradigm and significant time savings for commuters in the metropolitan region. The use of dedicated tracks will allow for quick and uninterrupted travel, and passengers will have Wi-Fi connectivity and access to live status updates.

The proposed REM project is an electric fully automated light rail transit network including twenty four stations running on sixty seven kilometers of electrically powered double tracks making it an environmentally friendly infrastructure. New stations will be integrated into their urban environment and designed to allow easy access for pedestrians, bicycles, cars and buses. All stations will be covered, climate-controlled, equipped with elevators, and will meet the principles of universal access.

The new network represents an investment of approximately $5.5 billion. The promoter CDPQ is willing to commit $3 billion from the Quebec pension plan to the project. The proposed financial structure also requires investments by the governments of Québec and Canada. This network could potentially add more than $3 billion to the Québec GDP over four years. Close to $5 billion in private real estate developments along the chosen route are also expected. The new network will generate approximately 7,500 direct and indirect jobs annually during the 4-year construction phase, and more than 1,000 permanent jobs once in operation. Finally, by choosing the Highway 40 route to the West Island, the project allows for the creation of a dedicated corridor for public transportation, without the need to share tracks with freight trains.

As the proposed network extension north originates in the Deux-Montagnes region and crosses Laval west with plans to integrate with the existing commuter train service, the City of Laval has served notice that it will participate in the public consultations held by the BAPE with the presentation of the written brief the executive committee has approved.

Pet Adoption Day integrates microchip clinic

The City of Laval in collaboration with Berger Blanc has organized a pet adoption day on Sunday October 16th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. The event will be held at the community centre Pavillon du Bois-Papineau (Duvernay) on 3235, boulevard Saint-Martin East, Laval. Various shelters will showcase abandoned animals that are ready for immediate adoption. All animals up for adoption are already sterilized and vaccinated. They are offered at very reasonable prices that vary according to the selected animal (between $ 80 and $ 400).  Residents are reminded that if a companion that would best suit their lifestyle is not present on the day of the event the adoption process can still be initiated with some of the shelters present.

The occasion will also integrate a subsidized pet microchip clinic for animal lovers wishing to protect their companions. This service is available to Laval residents only and requires an appointment (call 311 or Berger Blanc for more information). The microchips will be implanted under the supervision of Dr. Valérie Sauvé at a cost of $ 25. Proof of residency is mandatory. It is generally good for the life of the animal. The microchip allows for the quick recovery of lost pets and can help settle disputes concerning the ownership of an animal. To profit from this service a dog must have its municipal license dog tag. It can be obtained on site before the appointment.

Animal shelters that have agreed to be present include; Aristopattes, Auberge Zen, Mère Thérechat,  Ronronne avec moi, Un toit pour chat and L’école de dressage Astuces canines.

Halloween fun throughout the month of October at Laval’s Nature Park

Residents of Laval have been giving the opportunity to prolong their Halloween fun throughout the month of October at the city’s Nature Park (Centre de la Nature). Organizers have created four areas of entertainment for different ages, fear levels and ghoulish tastes.

The biggest chills will be offered at the North Chalet starting from Monday Thanksgiving Day every weekend till October 30th. Brave souls of at least ten years and older can venture into the haunted house whose theme for this year is an abandoned hospital. The Haunted house features a dark, smoky, zombie infested experience that is guaranteed to thrill. There is a fee for entry for anyone wishing to challenge their fears. This activity is not recommended for children under 10 years old, pregnant women and people with heart or respiratory problems and is wheelchair accessible.

There is a small fear zone planned in the Village of the Arts which is decorated in fall and Halloween motifs and colors during the weekend of October 29th and 30th. Each small chalet has a unique theme and activity that includes a house of sorcery featuring window decorations, a house of bats animated by staff of the Éco-Nature team who will demystify these creatures of the night as well as funny animals and insects tasting workshops led by the Circle of young naturalists.

Diverse activities showcase Halloween tales read by the Laval libraries staff, Alice in a strange land a child’s first haunted house visit and feed your sweet tooth at the lair of Dracula where the famous vampire will distribute sweets. The green house will host an exhibition of carnivorous plants and other oddities. This exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Horticultural Training Centre in Laval.

Many local associations and community centres have planned activities throughout Laval. Information concerning the various offerings can be had at the local municipal recreational offices.

Temporary car shelters

While winter has not yet made its presence felt it is not far off and many residents are taking the opportunity afforded by the good weather to install their temporary winter car shelters (Tempos). It is important to note that city bylaws allow for the framing structure of a Tempo to be erected as of October 15th however, the covering may be installed only as of November 1st. All temporary car shelters must be removed by April 15th. Failure to comply can result in fines.

Only car shelters made from fibreglass, canvas, painted plywood are allowed. The shelter must be installed on the main access to your driveway or your residence at a minimum distance from the curb or sidewalk. It is the owner’s responsibility to make sure the installation is in keeping with the standards stipulated in zoning Bylaw L-2000. A temporary car shelter must not be attached or fastened to any public utility or equipment, must be located at least 1.50 metres (5 feet) from a fire hydrant so that it doesn’t interfere with the use and maintenance thereof and doesn’t obstruct a road sign or its pole.

Although there are no municipal regulations specifying the minimum distance between a Tempo and the boundaries of a property the Civil Code of Québec stipulates a car shelter must be located in such a manner to ensure that the snow and ice that accumulate on its surface do not fall on a neighbouring property. In case of a dispute, Ville de Laval will not be able to intervene as such matters come under the jurisdiction of civil law.