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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Sammy Forcillo dead set against pedestrianization

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When Ville-Marie mayor Benoît Labonté came up with a plan for the seasonal pedestrianization of Ste. Catherine Street in the Gay Village, between Berri and Papineau, it seems he forgot to consult opposition councillor Sammy Forcillo, who represents the Village at City Hall. Today, the Journal de Montréal reports that Forcillo is dead set against the project:

«Je suis contre cette idée surtout pour des raisons de sécurité, a-t-il dit au Journal, mais aussi à cause des nombreux problèmes de circulation, de stationnement et de fréquentation des commerces que cette fermeture pourrait causer.»

Le conseiller se demande à quelle vitesse pourront intervenir les pompiers dans ce secteur, où «un incendie peut rapidement devenir une conflagration».

Le projet est présenté par le maire d’arrondissement, Benoît Labonté, qui a l’appui des membres de son équipe au conseil d’arrondissement. Sammy Forcillo constitue l’opposition dans ce conseil local.

«J’ai beaucoup de questions à poser sur les coûts que cette mesure pourra occasionner au Service de la police.

«J’aimerais aussi savoir qui paiera pour le service d’ordre nécessaire puisque les rues transversales resteront ouvertes», ajoute M. Forcillo.

It strikes me as a bit odd that Forcillo is waving the banner of the merchants, suggesting that pedestrianization will harm businesses on Ste. Catherine, when it’s the Village’s business owners who are driving this project. It seems more likely that the pedestrianization project has now become a political football that will be kicked around between Labonté, who is angling to become leader of the opposition Vision Montreal, and Forcillo, who is a member of Union Montreal and a staunch Tremblay loyalist.

I suppose it would be too much to ask that Ville-Marie councillors drop the party line and discuss pedestrianization on its own merits…

Photo of Ste. Catherine during the OutGames by RobAbroad



  1. I am so sick of the argument that not allowing cars is bad for business. Find people a place to park outside the area and let them walk around. You don’t think they’ll be buying stuff! We are just so addicted and so full of denial. Depressing.

  2. There’s probably a lesson in this for the folks in Toronto, where I gather there’s a bit of talk these days about potentially moving to a party system at the municipal level.

  3. Sadly, it just illustrates how out of whack all our local politicians are. Montreal needs a new political system with new players.

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