Laval has adopted its first heritage action plan which will cover the period from 2020 to 2024.
The plan aims to recognize Laval’s heritage to leverage its identity and as a generator of economic vitality, putting forward “a renewed, cross sectional and collaborative approach to ensure the protection and enhancement of its heritage,” says Sainte-Rose councillor Virginie Dufour.
“Whether for municipal buildings, places of worship, public spaces or vacant or vulnerable private buildings, the deployment of this plan will have an impact in terms of cultural, social and economic development.”
The action plan is “an open and evolving document” which can be improved and whose implementation revolves around the expansion of knowledge of Laval’s heritage; creation of innovative and efficient tools and programs; deployment of sustainable and concerted heritage management; and citizen ownership of city heritage and its influence.
To do this, the city is committing to 45 specific actions in concert with the community and its partners. For example, the city will carry out a study on the agricultural and horticultural history of Île Jésus; adopt a regulation on the maintenance of buildings; creating a directory of vulnerable heritage; and development of information tools for heritage buildings owners.
“The city wants to ensure that the history of Laval is showcased,” said Mayor Marc Demers, while reaffirm the uniqueness of the city across Quebec “and strengthen the Laval identity through real citizen ownership. It is a responsibility that rests with all of us.”
The city’s current Three-Year Capital Works Program (PTI) already includes some of the plan’s initiatives such as restoring the André-Benjamin-Papineau complex, whose house is classified as heritage by the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications (MCCQ); and restoration of Desjardins house.
Other related actions already carried out in the past, some of which were part of a cultural development agreement between Laval and the province include creation of an inter-departmental committee bringing together the City’s heritage experts; adoption of a financial assistance program for the renovation and restoration of heritage buildings; adoption of a demolition by-law concerning heritage buildings; a pre-inventory of the modern, religious and institutional architectural heritage for the entire territory, and a study of archaeological potential, archaeological inventory and cultural mediation at the Berge des Baigneurs in Sainte-Rose
Fresh off the announcement that Sonia Baudelot was running for mayor of Laval, her new adoptive party Action Laval was facing tough questions about its email campaign.
Dozens of Laval residents report being solicited via email by the party with which they have zero affiliation, other than having been associated with the ruling Mouvement Lavallois party. That includes former Renaud councillor Raynald Adams. “I received an email addressed to me that I created expressly for my communications related to Mouvement Lavallois and that I haven’t given out since 2017,” he told The Suburban.
Baudelot ran for mayor in 2017 as leader of Avenir Laval and as recently as August dismissed rumours she was considering the Action Laval leadership. When asked if ML contact lists were used, an unidentified press spokesperson of Action Laval Équipe Sonia Baudelot told The Suburban that “An email in the shape of a newsletter was sent via our CRM platform on Nov. 5, following the announcement of our new Leader. We did not use any data external to those obtained since the founding of our party in 2013 as well as personal contacts of our municipal councillors and party organizers.”
The party maintains no list was migrated and no data was taken from the Mouvement Lavallois’ database. “We don’t have access to it in any way.” It further maintains it has no data “from other political parties, at any level, or from sources external to its organization/people and in no case sends emails or solicitations to people who have wished to be removed from its lists.”
Instead, the party says the mailing list used was composed of members, supporters, and persons who participated in a survey, petition, event, fundraiser, etc. having given their email address, as well as contacts who have had past or current political relations or contacts with members of the AL caucus and certain volunteers.
Mayor Marc Demers’ office directed queries to Mouvement Lavallois president Lyne Silvain, who told The Suburban that “the situation raises some disturbing questions. We received a lot of complaints from citizens and I believe Ms. Sonia Baudelot should explain herself promptly.”
Action Laval says its members have intersected “many times” with the other parties, including De Cotis who founded Mouvement Lavallois, and Paolo Galati, “elected in 2013 with Action Laval, having gone with the ML and then back with AL, it is normal that his network of contacts is also intersecting.” On social media the party went further and apologized to those who received the email and did not wish to receive it.
“I don’t buy Action Laval’s explanation at all” says Adams. “The email address I received the message at I only provided for ML-related business, e.g. for potential voters to reach me during the campaign in 2013 and for party business afterwards, since constituents could reach me at my city hall address and I wanted to keep the addresses distinct. Only ML had access to it, and I have not used it since 2017.”
A former resident who no longer lives in the province told The Suburban he received one and was concerned that “calls for donations may target non-residents.”
Adams added that he specifically told his ex-colleagues who joined Action Laval “not to call me, and that I blocked their numbers and their emails, and they still feel justified including my 2017 information in their database?” He concedes this information was in the Democratik database parties use, “but no other party ever contacted me there, so I know that’s where it comes from.”