Laval to hold its 50th blood donor clinic on November 7

Landmark event taking place at Place Bell with ‘The Rocket’

The City of Laval has something new planned for its 50th annual blood donor clinic, which takes place on Nov. 7 from 9 am to 7 pm.

The clinic, which is one of the largest blood donor events in Canada, will be taking place at Place Bell where the Laval Rocket plays its matches. The city and the AHL hockey team are partnering for the event and reservations are now being taken for anyone who would like to give blood on Nov. 7.

“All signs pointed to the Laval Rocket becoming the partner for an association with Laval’s blood donor clinic,” says Mayor Stéphane Boyer. “In addition to being models of perseverance on the ice, the players get involved in their community for good causes such as this one.

Place Bell new venue

“As well, we will be able to take full advantage of the facilities at Place Bell to welcome more donors than ever while saving lives. Therefore, I invite all people in Laval to come and give. It’s a simple act, but so important.”

In addition to being able to walk on the playing surface of the Rocket’s home arena, blood donors will have the opportunity to meet some of the players who will be dropping by over the course of the day.

“The Laval Rocket is proud to be able to welcome the Laval blood donor clinic to Place Bell for the event’s 50th anniversary,” says Jean-François Houle, head coach for the team. “This cooperative effort with the City of Laval and Héma-Québec will be the ideal occasion to get everybody involved for the largest number possible of blood donors.”

50 years since first clinic

More than 50,000 blood donations have been collected at City of Laval blood donor clinics since they started being held in 1973. This year’s target is 600 donations in a single day. It should be noted that most adults in good health are considered eligible to give blood. Appointments to give blood are recommended and can be made online or by phone by calling 1 800 343-7264. Additional information is available at the Héma-Québec website:

Action Laval furious over city’s $8 million website upgrade

Two Laval city council opposition members are accusing the Boyer administration of wasting taxpayer money after an $8 million expenditure was recently approved to update the City of Laval website.

Chomedey councillor Aglaia Revelakis and Saint-Vincent-de-Paul councillor Paolo Galati, who are both with Action Laval, issued a statement saying they had difficulty understanding Mayor Stéphane Boyer’s choice of priorities given the city’s other pressing needs.

Chomedey city councillor Aglaia Revelakis.

Streets and sewers…

“While the streets, and while the sewer system on the island need investments in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and while the parks are in a deplorable state, and while the overall upkeep of the city is becoming worrisome for most residents, Laval’s mayor wants to spend $8 million to bring the city’s website up to date,” they said.

“The mayor has completely lost touch with reality,” said Revelakis, adding that she has yet to hear from even one Laval resident commenting on the city’s website. “Nobody complains about this, although how many phone calls have I received about potholes, the state of the parks and snow removal? These are the true priorities of the city.”

Question of priorities

According to Action Laval, city services employees recently gave a presentation outlining the work that needed to be done to bring the sewer system up to standards in order to meet provincial government requirements.

The opposition party maintains that several sections of the sewer network have reached the maximum of their capacity, thus preventing new residential developments from taking place. In the meantime, Action Laval adds that the city is in the midst of a housing shortage crisis, while the mayor just raised taxes on properties that are going undeveloped.

During the Oct. 4 public meeting of Laval city council, Sainte-Dorothée city councillor Ray Khalil, who is vice-president of the executive-committee, justified the $8 million expense, saying that by 2026 Laval’s web platform will be reaching the end of its useful lifespan and the city will have no choice but to upgrade it.

Ray Khalil
Laval city councillor and executive-committee member Ray Khalil.

As well, he suggested that the city will be achieving savings through the upgrade because Laval will be able to automate and put online certain services like permit renewals while reducing manual tasks now performed by employees.

“The city’s website is an important platform and one of the principal ways we communicate with out citizens,” he said. “Above all this, it’s all about being faster, better, more accessible to our residents, which are all part of providing services to them. We will be gaining all of these with this web upgrade.” As well, Khalil noted that only 4 per cent (mostly senior citizens) of Laval’s residents are not connected to the internet.

Improving cybersecurity

In September 2022, the City of Laval’s computer systems were the target of an intrusion attempt during which hackers were able to download what Mayor Boyer later described as a “limited” amount of data.

Laval and other municipalities are increasingly building their computers’ defences against cyberattacks.

In the attack last year, a spokesperson for the mayor described the data which was stolen as consisting mostly of material such as photos and text, but not personal or financial information belonging to residents. Following the attack, the city brought in experts from Microsoft to deal with the fallout.