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  1. Launch of the Institut de politiques alternatives de Montréal A think tank is created to shed light on urban planning and development policy in Montréal. MONTREAL, Oct. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Phyllis Lambert, architect, Founding Director and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the CCA, Dimitri Roussopoulos, founder of the Montréal Urban Ecology Centre, and Dinu Bumbaru, Policy Director of Héritage Montréal, announced today the creation of a think tank, the Institut de politiques alternatives de Montréal (IPAM). This citizens' initiative seeks to contribute to viable urban planning in Montréal, to its economic and sustainable development, and local democracy. As an independent and multidisciplinary organisation, IPAM has been formed to play a key role over the long term in the municipal debate on policy choices leading to an equitable and prosperous society. The economic, social and ecological challenges to urban development require an open-minded dialogue accessible to all sectors of Montréal society. IPAM is created as a think tank, a research centre, and an open public forum where different publics can meet, exchange ideas, and debate. It will act to provide a way for civil society to contribute its own innovative solutions alongside those of municipal bodies to help shape Montréal's long-term future. "The considerable impact of economic development in the City of Montréal and the megaprojects it has proposed, clearly indicate that we are currently at a major crossroad," said Phyllis Lambert. "The establishment of IPAM is essential: for it is clear that everyone that makes up the city's civil society must understand and agree on a definition and parameters of city planning, and they must share a clear vision of their rightful place in a permanent, constructive, democratic and effective dialogue with political decision-makers." An independent, multidisciplinary, and inclusive organisation, IPAM's purpose is to play a key role in the municipal debate on policy choices leading to an equitable and prosperous society. IPAM's intention is to contribute the expertise of individuals from different spheres within the community. "By combining the strengths and expertise of a wide range of specialists in complementary fields of activity both locally and from elsewhere, including university research, business, socioeconomics, neighbourhood roundtables, ethnic communities, and environmental NGOs, we will create a centre of reference composed of people who will mobilise around issue of sociology, economy, democracy and physical planning related to urban development and recommend courses of action for the municipal administration in each of these areas," added Dimitri Roussopoulos. According to Dinu Bumbaru, "With the City about to update the Urban Master Plan, Montreal needs a framework that integrates urban planning, economic planning and sustainable development, which is why IPAM will establish six working groups to tackle questions of long-term economic and cultural development: heritage, poverty, social housing and social justice, ecology, urban planning and transportation, and democracy." IPAM's work will concentrate on the following two activities: - Dissemination information and holding public debates by organizing public forums, conferences and seminars concerning a great variety of challenges in urban planning. - Monitoring the municipal administration's activities through annual evaluation of the annual reports of the Ville de Montréal on urban planning, and of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal, and the Ombudsman's report. As a first initiative IPAM will, the day after the elections, call on the new City Administration to hold a citizens' summit on the future of Montréal in partnership with civil society, permitting an exchange of ideas and experience, in order to help to establish the guidelines for the administration's new mandate. For further information: Louise Constantin, IPAM, (514) 769-4553, [email protected]; Isabelle Huiban, Press Relations, Office of Phyllis Lambert, (514) 222-4307, [email protected]
  2. Transport Quebec blames Montreal for L'Acadie Circle flood Rain caused service road to fill up Sunday night By Max Harrold The Gazette July 27, 2009 Flooding at L'Acadie Circle in Montreal lifted sewer covers, causing serious damage to vehicles. Photograph by: Minas Panagiotakis, Special to The Gazette MONTREAL - Dumping all responsibility for flooding Sunday night in l’Acadie Circle squarely into the city of Montreal’s lap, Transport Quebec said Monday it has taken precautions while the city has not. “That’s why we didn’t have any flooding on the section of Highway 40 that dips (in l’Acadie Circle),” Transport Quebec spokesperson Réal Grégoire said. But a section of the 40’s eastbound service road – on city of Montreal territory – in the circle did fill up like a canal late Sunday, forcing the closing of the road from 11 p.m. until 3 a.m. At least three cars were stranded in what has become a regular occurrence when there are heavy rains. Grégoire said Transport Quebec learned its lesson after flooding closed a section of the 40 in 2005, a year after the completion of $110 million in repairs to the traffic circle. Since then, Transport Quebec has sealed the holes in manhole covers and installed trap doors on sewers on that section of highway to prevent flooding, he said. While the highway is raised slightly higher than the service road, water did not spill down and contribute to the flooding, he said. In no way did the 2004 repairs contribute to the floods, he added. “We take care of our network. What the city does with their network is up to them.” Grégoire said the flooding was most likely because of a lack of capacity in the Meilleur-Atlantique collector – an oversize drain pipe built by the city in the l’Acadie Blvd./Metropolitan Blvd. area in 1950. But Saeed Mirza, a McGill University professor of structural engineering, said the province and the city must share the blame since the highway’s drainage feeds into the city’s underground water system. “Anyone designing this exchange should have planned for this,” Mirza said. “When this happens, it’s proof that they did not do it properly.” Sammy Forcillo, vice-chairman of the city of Montreal’s executive committee and responsible for the city’s water and road infrastructure, blamed Sunday’s flooding only on “an exceptional amount of rainfall.” One-third of the normal amount of rain for the month of July fell in that part of the city that night, he said. “I can’t control the heavens.” The city is spending a lot this year – $350 million – on the water network. However, Forcillo could not say what improvements, if any, have been made at l’Acadie Circle. The city is waiting for a response to a request for federal funding to do more, he said. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Montreal+blame+Acadie+Circle+flood+Transport+Quebec/1834498/story.html
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