Laval councillors observe Armenian Genocide and Autism Awareness Month

Mayor responds to residents seeking answers on renewal project at Pie-X Park

Mayor Stéphane Boyer opened the monthly city council meeting on April 9 with a reminder to all that the April is Autism Awareness Month.

He said the City of Laval has gone to great lengths over the years to improve the lives of individuals and families who are impacted by autism spectrum disorders.

“This is a cause that’s very close to my heart, having worked with young people with autism for several years of my life,” he said.

The members of Laval city council held their regular monthly public meeting on April 9.

Long meeting agenda

The meeting agenda was especially long and complicated as the council was awarding a large number of service and work contracts (including road surface painting, sidewalk and street repairs) to be fulfilled over the coming summer months.

Chomedey city councillor Aglaia Revelakis read out a statement in which she noted that Armenians are observing the anniversary of the tumultuous and traumatic flight of over 100,000 ethnic Armenians from their traditional homelands a century ago.

Armenian Genocide

City councillor for the district of Renaud Seta Topouzian echoed Revelakis’s sentiments regarding the Armenian community’s commemoration of the Genocide. Noting that April 24 is International Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day, she said “we are called upon to remember the victims.

“Remembering the Armenian Genocide contributes to the creation of a future where there is more justice, peace and respect for human rights,” she said. “We are too often witnesses to conflicts that impact civilians unfairly.

“It is of utmost importance to underscore the importance of remembering and commemorating the dark events, including the Armenian Genocide,” Topouzian added. “Today, while remembering all the victims of the Armenian Genocide, I wish to express my solidarity and my concern for oppressed peoples.”

April Autism Month

Just as Mayor Boyer had done, Councillor Revelakis drew attention to Autism Awareness Month. “In 2024, it’s important to remember that families of persons who are affected by autism spectrum problems are subjected to discrimination,” she said.

“They still face prejudices that are insensitive and not understandable,” she added. “We can do more to help people who are living with this condition. We must raise awareness among the population by all means possible.”

And finally, Councillor Revelakis tabled a notice of motion for a resolution she said will make it possible for senior citizens 65 years of age and older to be allowed to pay their property taxes in three installments, rather than two as currently permitted.

Petitions from Cifelli and Piché

Val-des-Arbres city councillor Achille Cifelli and Saint-François city councillor Isabelle Piché each tabled petitions from their constituents.

The petition tabled by Cifelli was signed by up to 1,000 residents asking for the bicycle path on Samson Blvd. in west-end Laval to be removed. In March, he tabled a petition signed by 500 residents asking for the same thing.

The petition tabled by Councillor Piché was signed by 500 people living around des Mille-Îles Blvd. in her district near Autoroute 25 and Levasseur St., where road repaving is badly needed, she said.

Safety and comfort

“It’s a question of safety, but also comfort,” she said, noting that Mille-Îles Blvd. is in a lamentable and dangerous state for all who use it.

Piché tabled a second petition. This one was signed by residents near Marcel Villeneuve Ave., asking that the speed limit between de l’Harmonie and Montée du Moulin be reduced to 50 km/h as it had been before being increased to 70 km/h.

During the public question period, Christina Gaston, who has a home near Parc Pie-X on the edge of Chomedey, said that she and several hundred other residents had been waiting for months to hear back from city officials regarding a petition contesting a major refurbishment project at the park.

Residents from Pie-X Park

Mayor Boyer said city officials had met in recent weeks with a delegation of residents affected by the project. “I know that at the moment the city manager has both hands working on the dossier,” he said.

“This is just to reassure you that we are aware there are concerns out there over what was initially proposed. But we are very open to changing the plans.

“We are not here to expropriate anyone, nor are we here to harm the quality of life of anyone. Our goal is simply to improve the park. It’s a neighbourhood where there are lots of needs.”