Saturday, May 30, 2009

Who Cares about Montreal ?

I thought that headline would get some attention,  but it seems for years now (since 2001) Montreal has what they term as a Montreal Citizens Summit.......where people get to voice their cares,wants & percieved needs,as to what they want their city to be like.......................  Seems like a good idea really,where the people,get a chance to voice their ideas.......    the following appears in today's Gazette as well:

What kind of city do Montrealers want to live in? Next week, residents will get a chance to weigh in on the future of the metropolis at the fifth Montreal Citizens' Summit.

The summit, a public conference with more than 80 different workshops, panels and talks, is expected to attract nearly 1,000 participants to the Université du Québec à Montréal next weekend.

Participants will be asked to think about "The City We Want" and to choose among the more than 80 workshops, lectures and round tables to be held June 5 to 7. Topics are diverse, and include plans for the Turcot Interchange, racial profiling, gentrification, migrant workers' rights, climate change, car-free streets, public transit, the protection of urban forests, and the black anglophone community in Montreal,

"One of the goals of these summits is to increase public interest in municipal issues," in the run-up to this fall's municipal election, said Luc Rabouin, executive director of the Urban Ecology Centre, the group that co-ordinates the event.

Organizers issued invitations to non-governmental and non-partisan organizations and groups to conduct workshops, round tables or talks on six themes as they relate to Montreal: urban planning, culture, democracy, the economy, environment and social justice/inclusion/citizenship.

The first Montreal Citizens' Summit took place in June 2001, inspired by the World Social Forum held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in January of that year. The idea was to encourage an open exchange among diverse, non-governmental and non-partisan groups to stimulate ideas for a more democratic and fair world.

Subsequent summits have often been held during municipal election years, and Rabouin said they have had an impact on political actions.

For example, a resolution from the first Citizens' Summit demanded Montreal city council come out in favour of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The council did and this eventually led to the adoption of the city's first sustainable development plan, Rabouin said.

Another summit led to the first "participatory budget" process in Montreal (in the Plateau Mont Royal borough).

An environmental film festival in connection with the summit is taking place this weekend at Cinéma du Parc. For information, go to

The summit begins Friday, with an evening of cultural events at the Société d'arts technologiques, 1195 St. Laurent Blvd. and continues Saturday and Sunday at UQÀM's J.A. de Sève Pavilion. at 320 Ste. Catherine St. E.

For more info and to register for the conference, go to


........Well there you go, for some of Our Montreal area members ,maybe they will attend & then relay their findings to us all:                                      HF&RV

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