• Stephanie O’Hanley

Plenty of questions at animated Vaudreuil-Dorion council meeting


Resident Jacques Mofett's questions included one about how much tax revenue Vaudreuil-Dorion is receiving from the new Ericsson plant.

While Vaudreuil-Dorion was one of 82 municipalities who last December unanimously approved a Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) resolution to ban one-use plastic bags by 2018, at the Monday evening council meeting September 19, council announced at this time it does not consider it appropriate to bring in such a by-law.

In August, the City of Montreal passed a by-law banning stores from offering single-use plastic bags.

It took Councillor Gabriel Parent over four minutes to read council’s motion, prompting resident Jean-Michel Smolsky to point out during second question period that he found the motion’s technical language difficult to understand. Mayor Guy Pilon agreed but explained that such municipal jargon was necessary since the motion would be forwarded to other organizations, including the CMM, the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, and the Quebec government.

“We need to study this more before creating regulations,” said Pilon. In a press release issued Tuesday, September 20, the city noted that on the one hand, council favours a polluter-pays approach to the bags and thinks certification norms are needed for reusable bags. As well, the city believes the amount of plastic bags eliminated under such a ban would be negligible when compared with construction waste and recyclable material generated by businesses and industry and feels an awareness campaign is necessary before introducing a bag ban.

The meeting’s two questions periods were busy, with residents grilling council and asking about everything from city cleanliness and sewer smells to bicycle paths, provincial electoral districts, and what to do with grass clippings.

Council approved motions allowing Mayor Pilon, Councillor Rénald Gabriele, head of the city’s culture committee, Michel Vallée, Director of Recreation and Culture, and Director General Martin Houde to attend a United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) October conference in Bogotá, Colombia and for Mayor Pilon, Councillor Gabriele and Vallée to receive an international award for the city’s “Je suis...” program at a UCLG ceremony in Mexico this October.

“How much is this going to cost?” resident Georges Lefebvre asked during second question period. Mayor Pilon pointed out he’s giving a talk at the conference. “We won a prize worth $37,000 Canadian, we’re going to use part of that to pay for it,” Pilon said, adding that the city is thrilled to be invited to the conference and to receive an award in Mexico.

Resident Kumudu Jinadasa said at the intersection of Rue des Dahlias and Des Cascades near her home she sees cars speeding at 100 km an hour. Mayor Pilon said as a first step the city would install speed reading devices with counters that measure vehicle speeds 24 hours a day for seven days. “That way we know exactly the number of vehicles and the speed,” information they can transmit to the Sûreté du Québec and follow up with an awareness campaign.

Resident Jacques Mofett asked about the amount of tax revenue the city receives from Ericsson for its new information technology centre in Vaudreuil-Dorion.

“Right now they’re going to give us more than $1 million in taxes” per year, said Mayor Pilon. “Eventually it will be more than $3.5 million. They’re not asking us for anything - they’re not asking us for water, they’re not asking us for roads. For a city, it’s a gold mine.”

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