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Jean-Pierre Ménard to speak to CSSS Laval

Jean-Pierre Ménard, a lawyer known for representing several high profile cases against hospital administration practices, will be speaking to members of the CSSS Laval Users’ Committee next week.

“Many rules are essentially designed to protect the staff and not the users,” Ménard says.

Menard is known for taking on cases in which patients accuse hospitals, medical centres and doctors of making medical errors that caused harm. He’s also represented parents who want to use cameras to monitor their aging parents in health centres and parents whose baby died in questionable circumstances. He’s also the key author behind the French health rights website

The May 2 presentation will inform members of the users’ committee how they can properly make user complaints so that their experiences are respected by institutions or a professional order. Menard will also explain when someone might want to seek redress via a civil suit.

This conference will take place on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm in room 106 of the Pavillon du Boisé Papineau, located at 3235 Boulevard Saint-Martin Est, Laval. Places are limited and the conference is already full. To get on the waiting list, send an email to

Demers to pitch Laval to Montreal business owners

Laval Mayor Marc Demers will pitch Laval development opportunities to Members of the Metropolitan Montreal Chamber of Commerce Friday.

“For the past three years, Laval’s municipal administration has been transforming Québec’s third largest municipality, a dynamic city that is booming,” says Demers’ letter of invitation. “Laval is changing and offers incredible opportunities for development.”

The letter invites members to meet Demers at a Chamber of Commerce business luncheon at which he’s speaking on Friday, April 28. The event takes place from noon until 2 at the Hyatt Regency in Montreal.

Demers message describes strengths of Quebec’s fastest growing city, such as its major urban infrastructure and its new downtown.

The timing of Demers’ pitch comes on the heels of recent Statistics Canada information showing slower growth. Laval grew by only 5.3% between 2011 and 2016, which compares favourably to Montreal’s growth of only 3.3% over the same period but pales when compared to the 8.9% growth Laval boasted between 2006 and 2011.

Then again, he may also need some good announcements for his political campaign in the autumn.

Demers’ letter says that Laval has “a single point of service and streamlined procedures” for developers interested in participating in large-scale residential, commercial, industrial or service projects.

Tickets cost $95 for members or $135 for others. Members can also purchase tables of ten for $855. Reservations can be made online or call the Chamber’s reservations service at (514) 871-4001.

Appointments denounced, defended

Michel Trottier says the current Laval administration is too partisan in its appointments.

The Fabreville city councillor and Parti Laval leader condemned the appointment of Mouvement Lavallois councillors Nicolas Borne and Sandra Desmeules as directors of Laval’s municipal housing Office (OMHL) earlier this month.

Six of the committee’s eight members are city appointments, Trottier said, and a majority of those are ML elected representatives or party supporters or donors, he added, referring to party vice-president Lyne Sylvain who recently launched a losing bid for a nomination to represent the party in November.

“Concentration of elected officials and supporters of one party within a governing council weakens the objective decision-making and political control instance that should be completely independent,” says Trottier, adding that the appointments to 95 percent of committee posts with majority councillors is contrary to recommendations by the Institute of governance in public and parapublic organizations (IGOPP).

Those 2014 recommendations noted that “independent directors” (i.e. who are not elected representatives or officials, or suppliers in possible conflict of interest) should make up the majority of the members of a board.

“A good board of directors consists of people with complementary profiles with diverse experience in management, finance or in a relevant discipline. Independent directors are usually more comfortable to question management and analyze proposals with a critical point of view” reads a party statement.

“Councillors are elected to represent the population and to ensure the good government of city affairs. If their presence is considered useful, it should be limited in number and scope, insofar as it is not desirable that they also occupy command positions (e.g. president, vice-president, secretary, etc.).”

Deputy mayor and founder of Mouvement lavallois équipe Marc Demers David De Cotis directs critics to IGOPP’s conclusion reiterating that the OMHL is governed by the Société d’habitation du Québec and reads “Should the city of Laval initiate a change in the structure or culture of governance, it should persuade the Quebec government and the SHQ of the soundness of its views.” In other words, appointments can be made if they pass muster with the SHQ and Quebec City.

The report also points out that the regulations are 15 years old. “Knowledge and practices in governance and accountability have evolved,” it states. “Would it not be time to review these regulations to validate their relevance and timeliness?”

As for non-partisan appointments, De Cotis counters that (Mayor Marc) Demers declared in December 2013 that no such appointments would be considered “before a common ground of trust and mutual respect were established. Three years later, that common ground of trust and mutual respect unfortunately has not been fostered,” he says, despite Demers having “tried in vain on numerous occasions to extend an olive branch.”