• editor834

Letter to the editor 4, Sept. 24, 2020

Thumbs up and down

Dear Editor,

On Saturday, September 19 I was invited to participate in Saint-Lazare’s sustainable development plan public consultation at the community centre from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

I was invited after having filled out a questionnaire.

I can only commend the city and all those who worked on setting it up and planning/organizing this event. In consideration of the present circumstances with COVID-19, their job must have doubled or tripled.

I felt safe and respected and at all times everyone who worked there was knowledgeable and hardworking and had, in my mind, considered all sides of the purpose of the meeting plus following public health guidelines/restrictions.

Although mostly in French, most information was also provided in English. I’m very grateful and it can’t be said in this instance that the city and the representatives didn't try.

I feel too many citizens didn't show up. Maybe they could be contacted in another way to be able to still give some input.

A definitive thumbs up on this event.

Three weeks ago the city installed a basin/sewer pipe across the street from me on Steeplechase to help limit flooding which, with the spring thaw, caused my neighbour to have her basement flooded. Thank you for this.

However, after the workers left there was black plastic debris, some pieces measuring 5 or 6” but most were about 1 to 2” long, but maybe 1-2-5 thousand pieces scattered on the road.

I called the Public Works Department the next morning and advised the person answering the phone of the situation. The debris was initially limited to between the two houses side-by-side and the two houses across the street from them.

I go for small walks every day and could see that with several rain showers, wind, leaf and pine needles falling that the plastic was getting scattered farther and was starting to settle more at the side of the road where we have a lot of plant debris. I waited to see if anything happened and had left my name, phone number and address. By Tuesday following the Labour Day weekend I called again. The same person answered and said her boss had gone to take pictures and there were some pieces only the size of ‘chewing gum’ and he didn't feel it was an issue. I was flabbergasted. Chewing gum at the minimum takes about 50-500 years to decompose, no one wants thousands of pieces of gum outside their house getting into nature, but I'm quite sure that plastic of any kind is a huge detriment to all wildlife, including us, and never decomposes. I was so incensed at the casual response. If they had been here, why hadn't they sought contact? Of course it had been freshly raining and harder to spot. After several more calls another gentlemen came, said he was the boss but a different boss and was thoughtful enough to call me. I immediately showed him the extent to which it had spread and the amount. It was also deduced that this plastic had come from cutting the large black plastic sewer pipe to size. He said it shouldn’t have happened, should have been immediately cleaned up, and he said he would do something. I had also called my councillor, Geneviève Lachance who was lovely enough to come and listen to some of my and my neighbour’s issues. However after 10 days or so, she said probably nothing could be done, and as of now, she unfortunately was right.

Big thumbs down on this one.


Elianna Beckman