Isabelle Hudon reacts

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Photo by Marketel

After many weeks of waiting, this afternoon I finally had a chance to speak with Isabelle Hudon, chairperson of the board at the Société du Havre de Montréal (SHM) about her response to the Office de consultation publique (OCPM) report. Hudon spoke candidly in this audio interview and mentioned that the Bonaventure Project will move forward in the near future.

7 comments

  1. CAN this be transcribed? I hate audio files! You can’t reference them easily, they’re difficult to forward, they’re a pain in the ass to search through. Sound is the worst thing that’s happened to journalism since ever. Just give me some good old text and maybe some images. And text doesn’t come in different formats or require some stupid proprietary technology to play it. I’M SICK OF IT!

    What is this, a blog, or the GLENN BECK PROGRAM??

  2. One thing I hate about the promotion of this project is that it will make a “grand entrance” to Montreal.

    hello? The Bonaventure entrance to downtown already is a grand entrance. No traffic autoroute until the foot of University street, I love this entrance to our city.

    The only reason to change the existing OK situation is to have the public pay major dollars so a few select private developers can benefit enormously from the city’s generosity (translation: willingness to flush citizen rights down the toilet so these private developers can benefit enormously.)

    I’m sure Ms Hudon knows this. And she’ll be cashing in too, no doubt.

    (note to above commenter, yes it is the reporter’s job is to transcribe the interview into text).

  3. Roger, how is access to an expressway a citizen’s right? Get off your high horse–the Bonaventure blocks the city from the water and has turned every neighborhood it passes through into a wasteland. Arriving on the island of Montreal you are greeted by urban decay, cheap suburban cityscapes, and sheer emptiness. This is not any kind of entrance at all–you seem to forget that the Bonaventure cuts through Montreal before arriving at the foot of University street. That is NOT where the city begins. This land is *DIRECTLY ADJACENT* to the city core and should not be left forgotten and rotting. *THE EXISTING SITUATION IS NOT OK.*

    On the motorists’ side, a few minutes of time on the 6 km route is saved (!?). Are you seriously suggesting we should leave this area as-is? You have the gall to claim citizens’ rights are being violated? We have a right to demand a high standard of living, and nobody has the right to demand that is sacrificed for the convenience of commuters. This area has tremendous potential and the Bonaventure was a mistake.

    Don’t worry, you’ll still arrive at the foot of the city, it’ll just be farther out from University and St. Antoine. If developers profit, that’s how cities get built! We are all keeping an eye on how this goes–nobody is asking for another Devimco/Griffintown. Your strawman fails.

    I mean, for crying out loud, you ought to be able to survive through a few traffic lights.

  4. I fully agree with roger here, this project is very fishy… if these lands were so promising as Hudon is telling us, the promoters would be lining up and boasting and gloating about their projects.

    We’ll end up with a street that crosses even larger and emptier lands (with grass).

    Access to the water lol…. MB are you for real? There’s the Port, and a dump which is very polluted (ex-technopark), I don’t think any Montrealers would have his children play there.

  5. Claude, I am absolutely serious–are you serious that you thought I meant kids should play down there like it is right now? Do I have to explain that?

    You’re right, there’s the old port…and that’s it. There’s no other access from downtown. To the east is Notre-Dame and the port of Montreal, to the west it is cut off by rail yards, brownfields, and the Bonaventure. This is why the area is slated for development. No moron is going to bring their kid there as-is, you can’t even get there. The plan involves a lot more than just turning the highway into a ‘boulevard.’

    I understand where this cynicism comes from, but I prefer hopefulness to giving up and settling with the status quo, particularly when the status quo is “a dump which is very polluted.”

    On a side note–I am also a firm believer that the quality of a public space should never hinge upon whether or not children will play there.

  6. MB this is not cynicism its reality.

    Those lands have been vacant for 25-30 years, and its not the lack of incentives from the city to promote corporations setting up their offices (only Teleglobe-Tata and Mel’s made it).

    Those lands are so contaminated that it would require a special act of god money from who knows which indebted Government to make those lands enjoyable for your kids and my kids.

    Till then, this is all useless, and turning a part of a minor highway to a street going thru emptiness will not change the above.

    Access to the water… maybe in 100 years when those toxik waste will be disintegrated in the soil, maybe.

    And no one has answered my question, where are the promoters lining up to build those towers in Hudon’s renders?? There’s no demand.

  7. Interesting how in the interview the “essential and non-negociable Dalhousie Corridor” transforms from a bus corridor into a street that might have buses and/or cars, “we don’t know for sure”.

    There is indeed something fishy going on here. Dalhousie is a critical part of their scheme and they are willing to market it as whatever will sell. Whatever its eventual purpose, we can be assured that it’s extremely lucrative.

    They definitely have plans that involve some kind of retail:

    “The renewal and sustainable development of Montreal’s Quartier Bonaventure is the subject of the keynote address at International Council of Shopping Centers’ Quebec Conference, being held June 9-10, 2010 in Montreal.” Source: http://www.gifts-and-tablewares.com/issues/story.aspx?aid=1000366959

    And finally, all of Isabelle Hudon’s half-truths and unfounded statements are enumerated and criticised here: http://griffintown.org/dalhousie/docs/CommuniqueReponseAHudon170410.pdf

    If we did things transparently in this city, we wouldn’t have to dance this silly dance and we’d actually get things done with reasonable compromises.

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