#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. »

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