#NDG Free Press: Bergeron plans to boost culture, economy, family #mtl2013

by Isaac Olson

After deciding to jump into municipal politics last year, Martin Bergeron founded a political think-tank called Reflexion Montréal with an aim to solve some of Montreal’s tougher issues.

Now armed with ideas and solutions, the long-time NDGer is looking to represent Coalition Montréal (Marcel Côté’s party) in the district of NDG.

« As a concerned Montreal citizen, I wasn’t happy to see how things were going in my city, » said Bergeron, noting he made the decision to run for office while working as director of strategy and policy for the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

« So I wanted to participate in making change at the city level and on the local level. »

Bergeron said the theme of his campaign is « better, livable neighbourhoods for all. » Under that theme, he said there are four main points. The first, he said, are the needs of young families. The parks, he said, need work as the chalets are dirty, hardly open and covered in graffiti.

The benches and other park infrastructure also need repairs. Renovating the chalets would be more conducive to supporting family life in NDG.

While Monkland village is thriving, Bergeron said Sherbrooke St. needs to be more of a shopping destination and Upper Lachine Rd. needs support. He said, « We really need to come up with ways to bring more traffic and business to Upper Lachine. »

Mobility is another key focus, said Bergeron, as the hospital continues to develop in the Glen Yards. He said he wants to ensure traffic flows well during the ongoing construction, but also after it opens.

« We want to have better fluidity, » said Bergeron. « That comes with a more intelligent way of treating all four modes of transportation – cars, public transit, bicycles and walking. »

Culture is also at the top of his list. With may artists living in the area, Bergeron said he wants to make sure they aren’t pushed out by the rent increases likely to be caused by the incoming super-hospital.

There needs to be artist workshops and space to make sure they stay in NDG. « We have a very culturally vibrant community as was demonstrated with NDG Arts Week. We have a lot of artists in the area and I think they are part of the solution of boosting the activity on Sherbrooke. »

Main elements of my local program #NDG #mtl2013

« Better Livable Neighbourhoods for All »

Making NDG an even better neighbourhood for families:

  • Keeping park chalets open when the park is, and cleaning up the facilities inside them
  • Providing better installations and more financial support to sports and leisure associations
  • Supporting and promoting green and white alley projects. Alleys are local playgrounds, not transit roads

Reducing congestion and improving overall mobility:

  • Planning public works better and delaying all non-urgent city works until MUHC and Turcot are finished
  • Crafting an overall mobility plan for NDG that will keep traffic on main arteries, and secure local streets and intersections
  • Improving public transit (esp. reserved bus lane on Sherbrooke and 2nd exit at Vendôme metro)

Supporting the development of our commercial streets:

  • Leveraging the investments of Cinema NDG (Empress) to revitalize Sherbrooke West
  • Supporting the establishment of a Société de développement commercial (SDC) on Monkland
  • Bringing more customers on Upper Lachine, and better serving the needs of Westmount adjacent on Décarie

Putting culture at the heart of our development:

  • Securing an artist workshop for the artistic community in the Sherbrooke-de Maisonneuve area (ex: Mile End)
  • Promoting NDG Arts week citywide to consolidate NDG’s position as a cultural neighbourhood
  • Renovating the heritage buildings and community assets of Le Manoir-Centre culturel and surrounding area

Principaux éléments de mon programme local #NDG #mtl2013

« Des milieux de vie de qualité pour tous »

Faire de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce un quartier encore meilleur pour les familles:

  • Ouvrir les chalets de parc aux mêmes heures que le parc, et nettoyer les installations à l’intérieur
  • Fournir de meilleurs équipements et plus de soutien financier aux associations de sports et loisirs
  • Promouvoir et soutenir les projets de ruelles vertes et blanches. Les ruelles sont des terrains de jeu, pas de rues de transit

Réduire la congestion et améliorer la mobilité:

  • Mieux planifier les travaux publics et retarder ceux de la Ville (non-urgents) jusqu’à la fin des chantiers du CUSM et Turcot
  • Adopter un plan global de mobilité qui concentre la circulation sur les artères principales et sécurise les rues locales
  • Améliorer le transport en commun (ex: voie réservée aux autobus sur Sherbrooke et 2e sortie du métro Vendôme)

Soutenir le développement de nos artères commerciales:

  • Utiliser les investissements du Cinema NDG (Empress) comme levier pour revitaliser la rue Sherbrooke Ouest
  • Soutenir la mise en place d’une société de développement commercial (SDC) sur la rue Monkland
  • Créer plus d’achalandage sur Upper Lachine et mieux répondre aux besoins de Westmount adjacent sur Décarie

Mettre la culture au coeur de notre développement:

  • Aménager un atelier d’artiste pour notre communauté dans le secteur Sherbrooke-de Maisonneuve (ex: Mile End)
  • Promouvoir la Semaine des arts NDG à travers la ville pour consolider notre positionnement comme quartier culturel
  • Rénover les actifs patrimoniaux que sont le Manoir, le Centre culturel et autres installations communautaires du secteur