• John Jantak

Pincourt among four Vaudreuil-Soulanges municipalities ranked best place to raise kids


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Pincourt Mayor Yvan Cardinal stands next to the town’s multi-use path on Duhamel Road near Bellevue Park, an initiative introduced last summer to reduce traffic and provide a safe space for families and children to enjoy leisure activities year-round.

Mayor Guy Cardinal said he’s pleased Pincourt just made it into the top 50 places in Canada to raise children by MoneySense, a distinction shared with three other Vaudreuil-Soulanges municipalities that also made the list – all for the first time.

The results of the survey published on the MoneySense website showed that Pincourt came in at number 50, with Notre-Dame-de-l’île-Perrot (NDIP) at 38, St. Lazare at 32 and Vaudreuil-Dorion at 15. The percentage of the population under 15 is 19.4 per cent in both Pincourt and NDIP, 21.8 per cent in St. Lazare and 22 per cent in Vaudreuil-Dorion.

With a population of just over 15,000 residents and a median age of 39, young families are moving into the community because of the close proximity to schools, affordable housing, stable tax rate and numerous activities and parks that cater to children and teens, Cardinal told Your Local Journal before the start of the Tuesday evening council meeting on July 11.

YLJ FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion placed an impressive 15th place in the top 50.

He credits the town’s social development policy implemented in 2013 and its continuous focus on infrastructure enhancements in its many parks as additional reasons why the municipality is considered child friendly. The opening of an indoor playground later this fall will provide another recreational option for families during winter, Cardinal added.

Focus on the family in NDIP

“We’re very happy about it for sure,” said Mayor Danie Deschênes when asked about how she felt about her town’s ranking. “We’ve been working very hard the past few years developing and implementing our family-oriented activities and introduced our own family social policy this spring. We’re very proud of that.”

PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO

Youngsters enjoy a giant water slide at NDIP's recent Notre Dame en Fête celebration

As a married mother and professional with two young children, Deschênes said it’s imperative that the town shows initiative towards families as a way to promote inclusiveness within the community and to ease the burden that many parents face in today’s fast-paced world.

The gamut of the policy is to make sure youngsters have places where they can meet with friends, to further enhance their development and educational skills, and to participate in a full range of various cultural, leisure and recreational activities.

Part of that commitment includes introducing a new after-school tutoring program this fall to assist students who may have difficulty with certain subjects. “I think this will be a big thing for students and will help them to get better grades,” said Deschênes.

‘Bang for the buck’ in St. Lazare

With a slew of recreational options available including parks, bicycle paths, horse and walking trails, Mayor Robert Grimaudo said there’s always a extensive range of activities that families with children can do together year-round.

PHOTO BY WALTER SANTELLI

St. Lazare celebrates its equestrian heritage with the annual Au Galop festival.

“It comes down to ‘bang for your buck’,” said Grimaudo. “It’s about the services provided and quality of life that you get in return for the taxes you pay. And the reality is that we rank 32nd in all of Canada, which is outstanding. It’s also about providing a nice environment for people to live in. This goes to show you we’re doing something right.

“We provide an extensive range of services to our citizens. It starts with the receptionist that answers the phone and includes our municipal employees who are there to help when anyone needs assistance. It’s about creating a positive connection between our municipal government and citizens,” Grimaudo added.

MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges reaction

Jean Lalonde, Prefect of the Municipalité Régionale de Comté (MRC) de Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Mayor of Très St. Rédempteur said it’s a remarkable achievement to have four of the 23 municipalities within its territory awarded such a prestigious designation.

“It would’ve been nice if all our municipalities received a similar status, but having four is wonderful and a great start,” said Lalonde. “What many people may not realize is that all the mayors in our region are working hard for their communities and this result proves it. Maybe in the next survey, we’ll have 10 municipalities in the Top 100 category for families and children.”

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