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Found 10 results

  1. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette) I guess that is a step in the right direction
  2. Merci à MTLskyline sur SSP Developer’s third design for riverside condo project up for approval http://westislandgazette.com/news/st...-for-approval/ Cheryl Cornacchia | From The Gazette | June 25, 2013 Other News Preliminary approval has been granted to a Montreal developer who wants to build a condominium complex in Pierrefonds-Roxboro alongside the Maison Joseph Théorêt and facing Rivière des Prairies. At a special borough council meeting June 19, council unanimously adopted a draft bylaw to rezone three lots on Gouin Blvd. at Aumais St. so that the Vered Group could build a 115-unit, six-story condominium alongside the heritage home recognized by Montreal’s Conseil de Patrimoine. The draft bylaw is now expected to come up for a second vote at another special borough council meeting, August 5, at which point, if passed, the bylaw would pave the way for the project could to go forward, at least, in theory. On Tuesday, André Giguere said he and other neighbours of the proposed project plan to request the borough open a register that could in effect tie up, if not halt, the condo project entirely, should sufficient number of neighbours sign it and signal their opposition to the project. Johanne Palladini, a borough spokesperson said on Tuesday once a register is opened, area residents would be given a specified day to sign it. If the project is opposed by a certain percentage of area residents, determined by the number of electoral voters, Palladini said, the borough would be forced to hold a costly, borough-wide referendum on the project. http://westislandgazette.com/news/story/2013/06/17/developers-third-design-for-riverside-condo-project-up-for-approval/
  3. Dieppe (Moncton,NB) pushes French, bilingual sign bylaw Proposed sign law open for discussion in January Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | 6:13 AM AT CBC News Dieppe is proposing a bylaw that will require all future commercial signs on the exterior of buildings in the southeastern New Brunswick city to be either in French or bilingual. Dieppe city councillors brought forward the sign bylaw on Monday night in an attempt to quell a long-simmering debate in the francophone city over the number of English-only signs. The proposed bylaw is not in force yet and the city will give people opposed to the idea a chance to speak at a public meeting in January. The move was greeted with applause by people in the audience at Monday night's meeting, including Martin Rioux-LeBlanc, who ignited the debate after gathering 4,000 names on a petition in January in an attempt to get bilingual signs in the city. "It's a big step for New Brunswickers, it's a big step for Dieppe and we can be proud of that," Rioux-LeBlanc said. The bylaw states that any new signs that go up in Dieppe will have to be either in French or bilingual, but existing signs would not be affected. Dieppe, a city of roughly 18,000 people, is the province's only francophone city that offers municipal services in both official languages. Natural progression Dieppe Mayor Jean LeBlanc said the proposal is a natural progression from years of trying to convince businesses through education to switch from English-only signs. "Dieppe has been promoting French and promoting French culture — the linguistic landscape of our city — for a long time. This is just a continued progression towards making sure our community is well reflected," the mayor said. Dieppe, along with its neighbouring Moncton, are popular shopping destinations for people in the Maritimes and have attracted a large number of businesses in recent years. However, most business signs are still in English only, which is what instigated the petition to adopt a new sign bylaw. Although New Brunswick is officially bilingual, the province's language law does not cover the private sector. So any regulation over the language on signs in municipalities must come from the local government. Municipalities are covered under the Official Languages Act, if they are designated as a city or have an official language minority that forms 20 per cent of the population. That would require, for instance, local bylaws to be published in both official languages, but it would not extend to commercial signs. Positive regulation Michel Doucet, a prominent constitutional lawyer who specializes in language law at the University of Moncton, has been pushing the city to pass such a bylaw. Doucet said this is a step forward for bilingualism. "It's something that will be very difficult for somebody, who is in good faith, to oppose this," Doucet said. "What the municipality has done is ensure that the linguistic image for this municipality transpires through its sign law. And I believe that the council now needs the support of the people of Dieppe to come forward and to congratulate what the council has done." Along with the public meeting on the bylaw that is planned for January, Dieppe city council is also seeking an opinion from the Greater Moncton Planning Commission on the bylaw.
  4. Olymbec projette de démolir le petit édifice commercial au 6775 Décarie (coin Vézina, juste au sud du projet de l'usine Armstrong) pour le redévelopper, probablement en édifice à bureaux de 6 étages. http://www.lobby.gouv.qc.ca/servicespublic/consultation/AfficherInscription.aspx?NumeroInscription=FNzZnYCG0atmYLnL%2b93Rdw%3d%3d#D56150 Le site en question:
  5. I don't really foresee the volume of foreign capital required coming in to Mtl. and thus upsetting its affordability. There are too many vacant locations as is, and not enough population and economic growth to massively reverse the situation. The one-in-six rule: can Montreal fight gentrification by banning restaurants? | Cities | The Guardian The one-in-six rule: can Montreal fight gentrification by banning restaurants? A controversial law limiting new restaurant openings in Montreal’s Saint-Henri area has pitted business owners against those who believe they are fighting for the very survival of Canada’s ‘culture capital’. Who is right? In downtown Montreal, traditionally low rental rates are coming under severe pressure amid a deluge of new restaurants and cafes. Matthew Hays in Montreal Wednesday 16 November 2016 12.30 GMT Last modified on Wednesday 16 November 2016 12.31 GMT In Montreal’s Saint-Henri neighbourhood, the hallmarks of gentrification shout loud and clear. Beautiful old brick buildings have been refurbished as funky shops, niche food markets and hipster cafes. Most notably, there are plenty of high-end restaurants. More than plenty, say some local residents – many of whom can’t afford to eat in any of them. Earlier this month, the city council agreed enough was enough: the councillors of Montreal’s Southwest borough voted unanimously to restrict the opening of new restaurants. The bylaw roughly follows the “one-in-six” rule, with new eateries forbidden from opening up within 25 metres of an existing one. “Our idea was very simple,” says Craig Sauvé, a city councillor with the Projet Montreal party. “Residents need to be able to have access to a range of goods and services within walking distance of their homes. Lots of restaurants are fine and dandy, but we also needs grocery stores, bakeries and retail spaces.” It’s not as though Saint-Henri is saturated with business: a number of commercial and retail properties remain empty. In that environment, some residents have questioned whether it’s right to limit any business. Others felt that something had to be done. Tensions boiled over in May this year, when several restaurants were vandalised by a group of people wearing masks. At the grocery store Parreira Traiteur, which is attached to the restaurant 3734, vandals stole food, announcing they were taking from the rich and giving to the poor. “I was really quite shocked,” says co-owner Maxime Tremblay. “I’m very aware of what’s going on in Saint-Henri: it’s getting hip, and the rents are going up. I understand that it’s problematic. They were under the impression that my store targets people from outside the area, which isn’t really the case. I’ve been very careful to work with local producers and artisans. Why would you attack a locally owned business? Why not a franchise or chain?” Not everyone is sure the change in regulation will work. “The bylaw seems very abstract to me,” says Peter Morden, professor of applied human sciences at Concordia University who has written extensively on gentrification. “I wonder about the logic of singling out restaurants. I think the most important thing for that neighbourhood would be bylaws that protect low-income and social housing.” Alongside restaurants, chic coffee shops have become emblematic of Montreal’s pace of change. As the debate rages, Montrealers are looking anxiously at what has happened to Canada’s two other major metropolises, Toronto and Vancouver. Both cities have experienced huge spikes in real-estate prices and rents, to the point where even upper-middle-class earners now feel shut out of the market. Much of Vancouver’s problem has been attributed to foreign property ownership and speculative buying, something the British Columbia government is now attempting to address. This has led to concern that many of the foreign buyers – mainly Chinese investors – could shift their focus to Montreal. For now, the city’s real estate is markedly cheaper than that of Vancouver or Toronto: the average residential property value is $364,699, compared with Toronto’s $755,755 and Vancouver’s $864,566, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. And rent is cheaper, too: the average for a two-bedroom apartment in central Montreal is $760, compared with Toronto’s $1,288 and Vancouver’s $1,368. Montrealers have little desire for their city to emulate Vancouver’s glass-and-steel skyline. The reasons for this are debatable – the never-entirely-dormant threat of Quebec separatism, the city’s high number of rental units and older buildings, its strict rent-control laws and a small-court system seen to generally favour the rights of tenants. But regardless of why it’s so affordable, many Montrealers want it to stay that way. There is widespread hostility towards the seemingly endless array of glass-and-steel condos that have come to dominate the Vancouver and Toronto skylines. If Montreal does look a bit grittier than other Canadian cities, it owns a unique cultural cachet. The inexpensive cost of living makes it much more inviting to artists, which in turn makes the city a better place to live for everyone; its vibrant musical scene is the envy of the country, and its film, dance and theatre scenes bolster the city’s status as a tourist attraction. In this context, Montreal’s restaurant bylaw is designed to protect the city’s greatest asset: its cheap rents. “I would argue this is a moderate bylaw,” says Sauvé. “We’re just saying one out of every six businesses can be a restaurant. There’s still room for restaurant development.” He says the restaurant restriction is only part of Projet Montreal’s plans, which also include increased funding for social housing. “Right now, the city sets aside a million dollars a year to buy land for social housing. Projet Montreal is proposing we spend $100m a year. The Quebec government hasn’t helped with its austerity cuts: in the last two budgets, they have cut funding for social housing in half. There are 25,000 people on a waiting list.” Perhaps surprisingly, the provincial restaurant lobby group, the Association des Restaurateurs du Quebec, doesn’t have an issue with the bylaw. “We understand the impact gentrification can have,” says spokesperson Dominique Tremblay. “We understand the need for a diversity of businesses. Frankly, if there are too many restaurants on one street, it’ll be that much harder for them to stay open. There won’t be enough customers to go around.” Even despite having been robbed, Tremblay says he recognises the anxiety that swirls around the subject of gentrification. “People feel a neighbourhood loses its soul,” he says. “I get that. I’d rather we find a dialogue, not a fight.”
  6. Montreal shopkeepers told to put brooms away Graeme Hamilton, National Post Published: Saturday, July 19, 2008 A labour arbitrator has ruled that sweeping sidewalks in Montreal is the exclusive domain of the city's blue-collar unionized employees. The arbitrator found a bylaw on keeping Montreal tidy violates the city's collective agreement.Dave Sidaway, Canwest News Service File PhotoA labour arbitrator has ruled that sweeping sidewalks in Montreal is the exclusive domain of the city's blue-collar unionized employees. The arbitrator found a bylaw on keeping Montreal tidy violates ... MONTREAL - A bylaw adopted last year obliging shopkeepers and apartment owners in downtown Montreal to sweep in front of their properties has spruced up the city. Fewer cigarette butts and fast-food wrappers litter the sidewalks, and garbage bags are no longer left out for days before the trucks pass. But acting on a complaint from the union representing Montreal's blue-collar employees, a labour arbitrator has ruled that the bylaw violates the city's collective agreement with its workers. Sidewalkcleaning is the exclusive domain of the blue-collars, arbitrator Andre Rousseau concluded, and the city has no business enlisting "volunteers" to do the work. The decision effectively means that city sidewalks and streets are a closed union shop, so anyone taking a broom in hand had better watch out. The blue-collars are notoriously jealous of their turf. In 2003, workers waged a campaign of intimidation against private contractors who had been hired by the city for such jobs as cutting grass and repairing sidewalks. Jean-Yves Hinse, Montreal's director of professional relations, said the city will appeal the ruling to Quebec Superior Court. "If it is interpreted broadly, not a minute goes by that we are not breaking the collective agreement," Mr. Hinse said. "Someone is picking up some paper, someone is sweeping his balcony." Mr. Hinse also worried that the ruling undermines efforts to foster a sense of civic responsibility in Montrealers. "We don't want Montreal to become a dump," he said. "Everyone has their responsibilities. We want citizens to have the responsibility of keeping their surroundings clean and safe. It's an appeal to their civic virtues." The cleanliness bylaw was introduced in 2007 after city officials despaired that Montreal was becoming overrun with garbage. Fines range from $125 to $2,000 for individuals, depending on the seriousness of the offence. Companies can be fined up to $4,000. Benoit Labonte, Mayor of the downtown borough of Ville-Marie, boasted last month that 2,700 tickets had been issued in the first year of the bylaw's application, with fines totalling more than $1-million. "I congratulate all citizens, because during the past year we have seen a clear improvement in the cleanliness of the borough," he said. But the bylaw had been in force less than a month when Michel Parent, president of the blue-collar union, filed a grievance complaining the city was assigning blue-collar work to "volunteers or non-profit groups," which is not permitted under the collective agreement. The city countered that it was simply imposing duties on property owners, who are not volunteers in the sense of the collective agreement. Mr. Rousseau concluded that sweeping the streets and sidewalks customarily falls under the blue-collars' jurisdiction. The bylaw, he said, "patently aims to give citizens responsibilities similar to those that are usually given to blue-collar employees." He ordered the city to ensure cleaning of sidewalks, roads and laneways was done by its employees. Mr. Parent said the city should hire more workers if it wants a tidy city. "If this is work that was done by blue-collar employees, it should continue to be done by blue-collar employees," he told Radio-Canada. "We are fighting to save those jobs." Peter Sergakis, an outspoken property owner who was initially critical of the bylaw, acknowledged that the city is now cleaner. "The blue-collar workers wouldn't bend to pick up a cigarette butt. They're spoiled," he said. "I don't have much faith that they're going to clean the sidewalk. I think we're going to go back to the dirt." The case is unlikely to help the union's image problem. Union members were suspected of vandalizing private contractors' equipment during a labour dispute and dumping pig manure in the apartment building of an elected city official. In the winter of 2006, as potholes cratered Montreal streets, an internal city investigation secretly followed three work crews. The 10 workers enjoyed marathon lunch breaks but only managed to fill nine potholes over three days. [email protected]
  7. How safe is your métro station? http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Montrealers+safe+your+m%C3%A9tro+station/8972463/story.html Quiet stations tend to have more crime per capita Berri-UQÀM, in eastern downtown, recorded 12.5 million boardings in 2009. There were 20.4 crimes per 1 million boardings. Photograph by: Marie-France Coallier , Marie-France Coallier MONTREAL - For the first time, Montrealers can find out which métro stations see the most crimes. Turns out some least-used subway stops have the highest per capita crime rates. The Gazette has obtained station-by-station statistics after Quebec’s access-to-information commission sided with the newspaper in a three-year battle with the Montreal police department. The figures cover 2008 and 2009, as police only revealed partial information for more recent years. Between 2008 and 2009, criminality jumped at 38 of 64 stations patrolled by Montreal police. At 13 of those, the number of criminal infractions more than doubled. The network’s busiest station, Berri-UQÀM — a transfer point served by three métro lines — saw the largest number of crimes. There were 255 crimes in 2009, up from 243 the previous year. In 2009, 18 stations saw at least 10 crimes involving violence or threat of violence (“crimes against the person”), including Berri-UQÀM (59 cases), Lionel-Groulx (33), Sherbrooke (20) and Vendôme, Snowdon and Jean-Talon (17 each). For every station, The Gazette calculated the number of criminal prosecutions per 1 million passengers who entered the network there. Berri-UQÀM, in eastern downtown, recorded 12.5 million boardings in 2009. There were 20.4 crimes per 1 million boardings. But it was Georges-Vanier, in Little Burgundy southwest of downtown, that recorded the most crimes per capita. At that station — the network’s least used with only 742,000 boardings in 2009 — there were 28.3 crimes per 1 million boardings. Georges-Vanier is a reatlively desolate location, especially at night. It’s next to the Ville-Marie Expressway and no buses serve the station. Beaudry and Monk stations are other examples. Both are among the bottom five for boardings but in the Top 5 for per capita crimes. Click for an interactive map showing crimes in the métro. Reading this on a mobile device? Find the link at the end of the story. The figures give only an approximation of station-per-capita crime rates. The STM only maintains statistics for the number of people who pass through turnstiles at individual métro stations. That means ridership figures used in these calculations only give an idea of how busy stations are. Some stations have few people entering but a high number of passengers disembarking. In addition, transfer stations are busier than boarding figures would suggest because passengers there move from one line to another without going through turnstiles. Bylaw infractions, including graffiti and malicious damage to STM property, were also detailed in the 2008-09 statistics. In more than one-quarter of Montreal métro stations, there were at least 10 bylaw infractions in 2009, with Berri-UQÀM (378 incidents), Sherbrooke (76) and Atwater (67) having the most. The figures obtained by The Gazette cover the 64 stations on Montreal Island and Île Ste-Hélène. Laval and Longueuil stations are patrolled by their respective police forces. Every year, Montreal police publish crime statistics for the entire métro network, but the force has resisted providing more detailed data. After failing to convince the access commission that the data should be kept secret (see sidebar), police recently provided The Gazette with the number of crimes and bylaw infractions at every station in 2008 and 2009. But when the newspaper subsequently requested 2010, 2011 and 2012 statistics, the department did not provide comparable data. Instead, it lumped incidents such as lost objects and calls for ambulances with crimes and bylaw infractions, rendering the 2010-12 statistics almost meaningless. The Gazette is appealing the police department's decision to keep the 2010-12 crime figures under wraps. Police and the STM say Montreal has a very low subway crime rate compared with other cities. Crimes in the métro are relatively rare and the métro's overall crime rate has dropped significantly between 2008 and 2012. Montreal police started patrolling the network in 2007. Before that, STM officers were in charge of security in the métro system. The Gazette sought the station-by-station figures so it could tell readers at which station passengers are the most likely to become the victim of a crime or to witness crimes or bylaw infractions. Making the data public also allows the public to monitor progress in reducing incidents at particular stations. [email protected] Twitter: andyriga Facebook: AndyRigaMontreal © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  8. Bylaw tweak could allow more drive-throughs Patty Winsa Urban Affairs Reporter Ads by Google A battle to restrict fast-food and coffee drive-throughs in the city’s residential areas may be brewing yet again. An amendment in Toronto’s new zoning bylaws, which go to council for approval this week, counteracts a 2002 city-wide ban that says drive-through lanes can’t be within 30 metres of homes and, instead, applies the standard to the order box only. The amendment could make it easier to put drive-throughs in some locations. The change comes six years after a residents group and the city successfully defended the original ban at the OMB, following a challenge by the Canadian Bankers Association, the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association along with other business interests, including the OMERS pension fund. “If in fact (the amendment) does undo the intent of the bylaw that we fought three years for and won at the OMB, I’m shocked and outraged,” said Susan Speigel, president of the Humewood Neighbourhood Ratepayers Inc., which raised $30,000 and hired a lawyer to make their case. “I will pursue this with the same dogged determination with which I fought for the original bylaw,” she said. Councillor Peter Milczyn (Etobicoke Lakeshore, Ward 5) pushed the amendment as part of Toronto’s new bylaws, a six-year project to harmonize regulations across 43 zoning areas brought together when North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, York and East York amalgamated with Toronto in 1998. The situation was complicated by the fact that some of the former cities had a web of bylaws, enacting new sets each time a new residential area was formed. Scarborough had more than 30. The harmonized bylaws went through the city’s planning and growth committee last week and go before city council at its meeting Wednesday and Thursday — the last before the election. Milczyn said he proposed the drive-through amendment after meeting with industry representatives and lobbyists for large companies such as Shell and Esso, who complained the current laneway restrictions were too onerous. “They’ve been attending every committee meeting and deputing and writing on this issue for months and months,” he said. Milczyn proposed a 30-metre distance between homes and the order box, which he says “is the point where there’s the most noise.” The original 30-metre setback was created after city staff did a Toronto-wide report on drive-throughs years ago. “We wanted the separation of the car, noise and fumes, including the order box,” said Joe D’Abramo, the city’s acting director for zoning bylaw and environmental planning, who wrote the original report. “We wanted them pulled away from residential zones. It was quite offensive when they put them right next to one,” he said. Milczyn said he intended the amendment to apply only to corner gas stations with drive-throughs in the outskirts of the city, but the language doesn’t specify that, say planning staff. And even then, it would still contravene the original bylaw. D’Abramo says the amendment put forth by Milczyn requires the order box to be 30 metres away from a residence, but the laneway could be right beside it. The new bylaws are online at http://www.toronto.ca/zoning and can be searched by entering an address or using the interactive maps. What’s new in the amalgamated bylaws Building heights: Say goodbye to stand-alone big-box or liquor stores on main streets in combined commercial-residential areas of the old city. Minimum heights will now be three storeys. Rooming houses: City staff proposed allowing rooming houses in high-density areas, including former boroughs where they were once banned, but the committee decided to defer a decision on the controversial subject until 2011. Group homes: Despite a human rights complaint, the new bylaw requires that group homes, including correctional homes and housing for people with mental health issues, be separated by at least 250 metres. The municipalities had various distance requirements, but mental health advocates such as the Dream Team want none. Restaurants and bars: South of Bloor St., and from the Humber River to Victoria Park, restaurants are restricted to the first floor of a building. Outdoor patios can be at the front or side, but not on the roof or in the back. Industry: The old bylaws had no provisions for propane facilities, but in response to the Sunrise explosion, they are now restricted to industrial zones and must be at least 300 metres from homes. Visitor parking: Council directed staff to include a city-wide ban on paid visitor parking at apartment buildings, which has been in effect for years in North York, but an amendment put forward by Milczyn on Thursday took that off the table. Schools and places of worship: There is no longer an automatic right to put a school or place of worship in a residential area, so as to restrain conversion or elimination of houses. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/851861--bylaw-tweak-could-allow-more-drive-throughs?bn=1
  9. Quebec City seeks to ban billboards Ontario's top court overturns similar bid MARIANNE WHITE, Canwest News Service Published: 13 hours ago For many Canadians, roadside billboards are part of everyday life. But historic Quebec City wants to make them a thing of the past. The municipality said this week it is moving ahead with a plan to ban all billboards across the 400-year-old city, just as Ontario's top court overturned Oakville's attempt to restrict their use. Oakville's city council has been fighting for years to keep billboards out of its community and the recent ruling dealt a major blow to their attempt. The Ontario Court of Appeal found Monday that the bylaw was an unreasonable "intrusion" on freedom of expression and sent Oakville back to the drawing board. But that decision isn't stopping Quebec City council. "We are aware of the situation, but we are sticking to our position," spokesman François Moisan said. "People come to Quebec City because it's beautiful and we want to make it even more beautiful." The city celebrated the 400th anniversary of its founding this year. Quebec is the latest Canadian city to move to restrict billboards. Vancouver has banned large signs on rooftops while some Ottawa city councillors are asking for the power to veto billboards in their wards. Last year, one of the world's most populous cities, Sao Paulo, Brazil, unplugged its neon signs and banned all types of outdoor advertising. But taking down billboards isn't always easy. The case of Oakville has been a long-running legal battle between the city and a billboard firm and it took Vancouver 10 years to finally be able to get rid of its some 300 billboards. Oakville councillor Tom Adams, who has worked on drafting the billboard bylaw, said other Canadian cities are going to benefit from his city carrying the banner on this issue. "This battle is not over yet and other municipalities will obviously be interested in the outcome," Adams said. Rawi Tabello, who runs the Toronto-based website illegalsigns.ca, which keeps track of sign wars, said advertising firms are eager to put up a fight. "Advertisers are getting desperate to attract people because now you don't have to watch ads on TV. So billboards are proliferating because you have no choice but to look at them," he added.
  10. Billboards are here to stay, city says A proposed bylaw in provincial capital would ban the signs from its territory JAMES MENNIE, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago Billboards may become a thing of the past in Quebec City by 2013, but there's no indication it will also happen in Montreal. "The city (of Montreal) has no intention of following suit," city hall spokesperson Darren Becker said, referring to public hearings in Quebec City about whether a total ban on billboards there should go into effect in five years. "We did ask for a review of the trucks that pull billboards down city streets, but no more than that," Becker said. A billboard greets motorists arriving in Montreal via the Bonaventure Expressway. Quebec City is considering outlawing such advertisements.View Larger Image View Larger Image A billboard greets motorists arriving in Montreal via the Bonaventure Expressway. Quebec City is considering outlawing such advertisements. His comments follow reports of a growing wave of corporate criticism of a proposed bylaw in Quebec City that would make it illegal to erect a billboard within its territory. City officials in the provincial capital have defended the law by stating that the architecture and scenic beauty of their municipality shouldn't be hidden behind advertising. Public hearings are being held to debate the bylaw, which the municipality hopes to adopt by the end of this year and put into effect by 2013. However the aesthetic argument doesn't hold water with corporations and companies that rely on billboard advertising for revenue. Billboard companies have already described the bylaw as discriminatory, and suggested they might seek damages from the city for lost revenue. More recently, oil companies have argued that removing the sign panels that advertise pump prices for gasoline at their service stations might not only result in customers being overcharged for gas, but also represent a possible danger to motorists in need of assistance who would no longer be able to see gas stations from a distance. However, Serge Viau, Quebec City's deputy general manager, said the days of billboards are already coming to an end in his municipality. Some former suburbs banned the advertising before being transformed into Quebec City boroughs, Viau said. "We already had the power to eliminate billboards written into our charter," he said. "And we did so; a few years ago we got rid of about 20 of them in downtown Quebec. "And Ste. Foy, when it was still a municipality, had a total ban on billboards." Viau said the latest ban would be total - even on public service messages produced by the provincial government. Viau said all of the city's boroughs were in favour of a total ban, rather than limiting them to particular parts of the city, such as industrial zones. The approach of trying to limit the presence of billboards to certain parts of town was tried by the city of Oakville, Ont., which adopted a bylaw in 2005 ordering billboards only be permitted in industrial zones. The bylaw was adopted after an attempt at a total ban was struck down on constitutional grounds. However, in February, that bylaw was also struck down in Ontario Superior Court, the judge ruling that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protected virtually all forms of communication. The city has decided to appeal that ruling. [email protected]