Kirkland Book of Records: CONTEST OPEN!

The campaign has started. In the coming months, we’ll hear a lot of memorable revelations and promises from our local “leaders.” With your help, we won’t let them pass unnoticed.

So far, the first one we have heard – or seen in print – is Mr. Gibson’s statement:

“I am very proud to say that Kirkland is the best place to live in Canada,” said Gibson.

The Mayor may have personal reasons to believe that this is the case. After all, he has been with the Town Hall for over 40 years. Continue reading

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Beaconsfield mayor bullish on new REM train network

by JOHN MEAGHER, MONTREAL GAZETTE 
Published on: July 19, 2017

Beaconsfield is not on tap for a new Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) light-rail train station, but Mayor Georges Bourelle is bullish on the project nonetheless.

“I’m favourable to it even though Beaconsfield has no direct benefit, like say Kirkland or Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue,” Bourelle said.

“For Baie-d’Urfé it will help their industrial park, but not their residents part so much.”


The 67-kilometre electric-train network, to be built at a cost of $6 billion, will connect the West Island with downtown Montreal, South Shore, Deux-Montagnes and Trudeau airport. The project is slated to be built by 2020.

The REM is being hailed as the most important transit project in Montreal since the Métro subway opened in 1966.

For Beaconsfield residents in the south part of the West Island, the closest REM train station will be in Kirkland, near the Kirkland Colisée cinema along Highway 40. Other nearby stations will be located in Ste-Anne–de-Bellevue and Pointe-Claire, west of Fairview shopping centre.

“For Beaconsfield, the REM train is certainly not a direct contribution to our needs for transit,” Bourelle said.

“We have had discussions with the government, and also with the Caisse de dépôt, and the AMT (train service) that is now in place is slated to continue and operate. In fact, Minister Martin Coiteux said maybe even improve (the AMT).

“So we’re hoping and counting on the commuter train.”

Bourelle does not think the REM will affect AMT transit in Beaconsfield.

“(Usage) won’t go down necessarily because you have the whole population below Highway 20 that uses it,” he said.

“So to me, where we are going to be benefiting from the REM is in the in-between hours, when people can’t take the AMT train downtown. Then at 11 or 11:30 p.m., if they’re coming home from the hockey game or whatever, they can take the REM and use public transit to get home, or take a taxi or whatever.”
Bourelle said bus routes will have to be redrawn and co-ordinated to bring commuters to and from the new REM stations.

“We’ll also have to review bike paths leading to the REM stations in Kirkland. From Beaconsfield, people will want to take their bikes to the station. This is another thing that will have to be worked out.”

Bourelle said there will be parking at the Kirkland station, but hopefully not everyone will drive to their nearest REM station.

“That’s why I’m saying, even when you look at Ste-Anne’s or Baie-d’Urfé, Kirkland, Pointe-Claire or Dorval, there will still be a lot of people will prefer to take AMT train, particularly at rush-hour in the morning and coming back at rush-hour at night.

“The REM will compliment that service.”

jmeagher@montrealgazette.com

Posted in cross post, West Island | Leave a comment

Kirkland Mayor Michel Gibson seeks another mandate

Mayor Michel Gibson

Mayor Michel Gibson

By Kevin Woodhouse, The Suburban

      •  Kirkland Mayor Michel Gibson announced last week that he will be seeking another mandate in the upcoming municipal election taking place this November.

Gibson has been a councillor since 1991 before taking the mayoral seat four years ago.

Before election day, Gibson expects to “knock on 6,000 doors and I have already started my door to door visits,” Gibson told The Suburban.

The mayor will be running on maintaining and even improving services by keeping tax increases to a minimum “since 2013 our local tax on the average house increased by only $54. The 2017 budget showed a 0.5 percent increase on the average house, way below inflation.”

Other accomplishments Gibson noted during the last mandate has been the $1 million grant from the provincial government as “funding towards the arena modernization, an estimated $4 million project. In addition, a $350,000 federal grant was jointly awarded to the Lakeshore Soccer Club and the town of Kirkland to renovate the synthetic soccer field at Parc des Bénévoles, a $1.5 million project,” the mayor said.

Regarding infrastructure, the city has “$30 million invested in road work, infrastructures, parks and green spaces, including the Harris water splash park. I am very proud of the new integrated library automation system and the extension of the opening hours to give better access to our residents.”

For Gibson, the most important dossier for the next four years is the light rail train project REM (Réseau Électrique Métropolitain). “ I believe that it is crucial that our residents are kept abreast on all phases of this important community project, through information sessions and participation, planning workshops and to work closely with our partners Caisse Infra, MTQ and Montréal Agglomeration.”

The city’s industrial and business district received some new arrivals within the last mandate, namely “ Harden Commercial Center, Cogeco, Traffic Teck and the Cancer Wellness Center. Kirkland’s 2.4 percent industrial vacancy rate is one of the lowest on the island of Montreal,” Gibson said.

“I am very proud to say that Kirkland is the best place to live in Canada,” said Gibson.

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Mayors in Kirkland and Pierrefonds-Roxboro to seek re-election

The Gazette

KATHRYN GREENAWAY, MONTREAL GAZETTE

Mayor Michel Gibson has announced he will seek a second term.

Gibson was first elected as a councillor in 1991. He ousted Mayor John Meaney in 2013. Meaney had served as mayor for close to 20 years.

In a prepared statement, Gibson listed his administrations accomplishments. Among them were keeping tax increases modest, securing $1 million in provincial funding to help defray the cost of modernizing the town’s arena and securing a $350,000 federal grant for the town and the Lakeshore Soccer Club to be applied to the renovation of the synthetic soccer field at Parc des Bénévoles. Also during Gibson’s mandate, the city was officially recognized as senior-friendly, recycling and composting programs reduced the amount of garbage ending up in landfills and $30 million was invested in road work and infrastructure projects.

Keeping citizens informed about the integration of the future light-rail system, with its one station in Kirkland, is a priority for Gibson.

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Kirkland takes creative approach to launching first book-sharing box

The box, fashioned by carpenters from Kirkland’s public works department, is a miniature replica of the town’s heritage Lantier House, located at 11 Chemin Lantier. The box is installed near the house.

Lantier House was built circa 1737. It now serves as a community centre.

The concept of book-sharing has been steadily gaining in popularity. People are invited to leave a book and take a book from the box. There is no charge and no registration is necessary. Books in French and English for adults and children will be available at the start. Once the exchange gets going, the box will hold an ever-changing selection of books.

The book-sharing box project was a collaboration between the Kirkland Library and the public works department.

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Wake Up and Smell the … Roses

The GazetteWhile Kirkland Town Hall is proud to have the crossed sewers’ issue swept under the carpet, another West Island neighborhood is starting to look into the water pollution problem: Dollard-des-Ormeaux plans to launch city-wide inspection in 2016.

However, from this point on, the DDO story will be different from ours. For reasons beyond an ordinary Kirkland citizen’s understanding, DDO Town Hall plans to treat its citizens with respect and does not threaten or accuse them of wrongdoing.

According to Mayor Ed Janiszewski, while a reimbursement policy has yet to be formalized, the Town will take a major part of the responsibility. Read more in The Gazette, 25 Nov. 2015, by Albert Kramberger.

DDO citizens are lucky to have a Town Hall that cares.

And we are proud to stay firm on “the Kirkland way.”

Posted in Meadowbrook | 2 Comments

Webcasting public meetings is a growing trend. Not in Kirkland.

The GazetteIn February, Île-Bizard-Ste-Geneviève borough became the first West Island municipal jurisdiction to webcast public meetings, using its own staff and equipment, and opened an archive on YouTube. A link can be found through the borough’s home page on Montreal’s web portal…… Read the article by Albert Kramberger, The Gazette, September 10, 2014.

On Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Pointe-Claire joined  the growing number of municipalities live streaming council meetings. Pointe-Claire Mayor Morris Trudeau called the introduction of webcasts an “investment in democracy.” …. By Kathryn Greenaway, The Gazette, October 7, 2014.

The City of Montreal has been streaming its Council meetings and Question periods for quite a while. Moreover, one can always watch the archives, regardless of the date.

Will you watch your local council meeting webcasts? – read Brenda O’Farrell’s blog here.

And finally: will we ever have the Town of Kirkland meetings and Question periods at least properly recorded and documented, as promised by Mayor Gibson during the election campaign? Or there is no money left to invest in democracy after the undisclosed legal fees and the sprinkler park? Or is all the above is exactly what Mayor Meany referred to “the Kirkland way”?

Ask your councilor if you have a chance and let us know.

 

Posted in cross post, elections, Minutes | 1 Comment

Town should not have paid councillor’s legal fees: Quebec

The GazetteAlbert Kramberger | The Gazette | August 19, 2014

…In a July 25 letter addressed to the director general, complaints commissioner Richard Villeneuve stated that “it is generally understood that it is for elected officials to assume the costs of legal proceedings when they consider themselves victims of defamation…..” Read the article here.

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Should elected officials use public funds to sue their critics?

Brenda O’Farrell | Just between us | August 20, 2014

The ministry’s complaint commissioner recently issued an opinion that a municipal councillor in Kirkland should not have dipped into the public purse to foot the bill for a defamation action against a resident.

Read Brenda O’Farrells blog and leave a comment in The Gazette here.

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How Much Would That Be Per One Kirkland Citizen?

“Kirkland resident wants councilor to follow municipal affairs ministry’s suggestion”

-by Kevin Woodhouse, The Suburban, August 20th, 2014

It is somewhat encouraging to know that our Town Hall ignores not only its citizens’ opinion but the recommendation of the ministry of Municipal Affairs as well. Read the article here.

Do you want to know how much each citizen contributed to sue one of your neighbours? Come to the council meeting on Sept 8 – and ask this question.

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