Save Griffintown!

The deadline for action is today – Speak up! by ajkandy
April 28, 2008, 8:01 am
Filed under: city council, consultations, griffintown, voting



Montreal City Council votes tonight on approving the PPU that allows Devimco’s project to go forward.

If you can be there today, you’ll need to get to City Hall by 4:30pm to register to ask questions, then return at 6:30 to get your speaking order number before the session starts at 7pm.

If you can’t be there today, express your dissatisfaction with the process by calling or emailing your city councillor. It only takes a few minutes and it means a lot. (PLEASE — be polite when doing so.)

Currently, we are urging them to not approve the current PPU, and to extend public consultation on the project to allow for appropriate time for citizens and organizations to examine the revised project that was announced this week by the City and Devimco. The word of the day is “What’s the rush?”

You can find out who represents you on city council by using this page at the City’s website. Just choose “Conseiller de la Ville” from the Title popup, then select your borough (Arrondissement) from the one below that. It should return the list of all the councillors that represent you.

For the Sud-Ouest borough which includes St-Henri, Little Burgundy, Griffintown, and Pointe-St-Charles, the councillors are:

Jean-Yves Cartier – email

Line Hamel – email

Jacqueline Montpetit (also the borough mayor) – email

They share a common set of phone and fax numbers at the borough city hall: 
tel: 514 872-6814 fax: 514 872-3705

If you haven’t already done so, sign the petition, or urge your friends, family and colleagues to do so! Between electronic and paper versions we’ve got over 700 signatures and it’d be great if we could break 1000.

Fresh horses!* Griffintown hearings continue tonight, set to go all week by ajkandy

The comments-and-briefs-submitting period of the Griffintown consultation process kicks off tonight at 7pm, and with the huge number of respondents set to offer their views, I estimate that instead of wrapping it up in one or two nights, it could stretch to the end of the week or further. Now’s the time to get your word in, or simply observe the process.

The Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown will be presenting second-up this evening. They’ll be submitting a brief including both a written critique of the proposal, as well as a vision statement for a more sustainable, organically developed and locally-focused community. The brief will be available on their blog after this evening, I believe.

The Committee’s also going to stage a press conference at 6:15 PM in front of the ETS, and will be bringing a calèche and horse to underline the importance of the Griffintown Horse Palace as a living legacy of the area’s Victorian industrial past. They’ll also be asking attendees to sign their petition asking for a better, more democratic process for the Griffintown project.

In other news, I was photographed, along with Chris and Judith Gobeil (and their dog, Andy) down at Saint Ann’s Park, with the Five Roses sign in the background, for the cover of the Montreal Mirror. The story’s being expanded so it’ll appear the week of the 20th.

Chris was also interviewed on CBC’s Radio Noon today, helping to explain how we are yes-for-dense-development, but no-on-oversized-shopping-centres. is also working on a more in-depth story for their online news division.

See you at the ETS tonight!

*A random, but appropriate quote from Brian Blessed as King Richard, in the first series of Blackadder.

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News Roundup, and Sign The Petition! by ajkandy

More Griffintown media mentions:

  • Eric Clement in La Presse reports that the Sud-Ouest borough’s star team of citizens, urbanists and architects — their Consulting Committee on Urbanism (CCU) — voted unanimously against the Griffintown project as proposed by Devimco — but their report was silenced.
  • Charles Poulin covers the still-unanswered questions in the Journal de Montreal.
  • Stephane Baillargeon, writing in Le Devoir, discusses the possibility of future economic collapse affecting Projet Griffintown.  (The question in the article attributed to Hélène Dansereau is actually the question I asked (on Peak Oil). The city’s urbanism guru, Luc Gagnon, blanked on that question and punted it over to Serge Goulet, who repeated his stump speech about LEED certification until I pointed out that that’s not what I asked, and then the moderator called time on things.)

If you haven’t done so already, read and sign the petition for a proper democratic process on Griffintown. If you already have, please pass the link along to colleagues, students, teachers, friends, and family! Remember…your neighborhood could be next!

Sign the Griffintown Petition! by ajkandy

Griffintown’s 200 years of history are at stake. Whatever gets built there, we will have to live with it for the next 100 years. However, the city, by using the Plan particulier d’urbanisme (PPU) tool, has limited public participation to a mere 8 hours or so of PR spin Q&A sessions; the last avenue available to us at this point is to submit comments and briefs on March 10th-11th.

Will briefs and comments have any impact on whether the project goes ahead, or is significantly modified? Do we get any say on the Plan d’intégration et d’implantation architectural (PIIA) if it goes forward? We have no assurances on any of these.

Make no mistake, those of us who are involved with various community organizations (like the Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown) are indeed writing up our briefs and comments on the plan. But we despair when we see that, if proper public consultations channels had been used, we might have had the option of more public debate beforehand, a plan defined before developers were invited to submit projects, and a citizen referendum on the whole thing.

The borough mayor, Jacqueline Montpetit, admitted freely that the choice of a PPU was a political move by the central City administration — deployed both to allow for expropriations — and, it would seem, to bypass the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) to limit citizen participation and debate on the subject.

If this goes through, it sets a dangerous and undemocratic precedent; What’s to stop the city from using PPUs to expropriate landowners, and turn their land over to private developers, anywhere else? (Well, presumably not in Outremont, but I can imagine this happening in Ville St-Pierre, Little Burgundy, St-Henri, Verdun…)

If you agree that this is a bad thing — and that the city should stop its current process and restart the Griffintown development using proper city and citizen channels — read the petition here at, and sign it.

You have the option to not display your name online, but your name will appear in the final petition presented to the City.

Reminder: Public Consultation continues tonight (in 15 minutes…go go go!) by ajkandy
February 27, 2008, 6:52 pm
Filed under: Committee for Sustainable Redevelopment, consultations, Devimco, ETS

Forgive me for not posting this earlier, but Real Life intervenes sometimes.

The question-and-answer phase of the public consultations on Griffintown continues this evening (in 15 minutes from now, actually) down at the ETS, corner of Peel and Notre-Dame. I was at the 2nd night, this time entirely devoted to continuing the questions from the public. I’ll write up a fuller report of those activities later.

People from the Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown will be there this evening — it was another practically full house last night and promises to be again tonight. If you have questions for the City and for Devimco, you can sign up at the door. There will likely be another supplementary night of questions if there’s enough people signed up.

After that, individuals and organizations can present comments and briefs stating their case to the borough committee on March 10th.

Official Details of the PPU and Consultations by ajkandy
February 7, 2008, 9:19 am
Filed under: consultations, griffintown, planning, Sud-Ouest

The City of Montreal’s Sud-Ouest Borough lays out information and the schedule for the public consultations on their Projet Griffintown page here. (in French only)

They’ve also released the preliminary Plan particulier d’urbanisme. You can get it from their page, but here’s a mirrored copy. (8.1 MB PDF, 67 pages).

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La Presse: “Final sprint” for borough mayor before Feb. 5 by ajkandy
January 31, 2008, 8:40 am
Filed under: consultations, griffintown, Sud-Ouest

From yesterday’s Cyberpresse:

«Ça arrive vite», a admis Jacqueline Montpetit, qui revient d’un congé afin de «reprendre son souffle». Au cours de la prochaine séance du conseil d’arrondissement, le 5 février, la mairesse, qui tiendra le rôle de présidente durant les consultations, compte dévoiler la démarche qu’elle entend suivre. Un avis public sera publié dans les journaux locaux, avec le calendrier des séances qui débuteront à la mi-février.

«Je peux déjà vous dire que ce sera le comité exécutif de la Ville de Montréal qui sera saisi des résultats de toute la consultation, a expliqué Mme Montpetit, qui n’a pas à émettre de recommandations en vertu de la loi. Mais ça ne va pas nous empêcher de penser», a-t-elle ajouté.

The article goes on to state that no independent urban planners are being consulted, as apparently the city’s already brought all of its urban planning expertise to the project. (News to me.)

The full schedule of local consultations will apparently be printed in local newspapers – probably something like Voix Populaire, I’m guessing — so we’ll keep an eye out for them and republish it here.

via Montreal City Weblog. 

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