Original text signed by Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, sent to the medias.
August 18, 2006
A mountain of nuances
By Isabelle Hudon
President and CEO
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Because the Board of Trade participated in the public consultation of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) on the project to expand the Percival Molson Stadium, we were extremely interested to read the report it published on August 18. There is every reason to congratulate the OCPM on its report, for it has presented not a mountain of reproaches regarding the project of the Montreal Alouettes but, rather, a mountain of nuances.
This report does, of course, outline the concerns and objections of citizens and other organizations that participated in the consultation. It identifies several elements of the project that should be rectified. It also notes that acceptance of the project involves departures from the urban plan and that in fact this regulatory basis would allow the municipal government to refuse to authorize the project.
But the OCPM also notes the support expressed for the project and the contribution of the Alouettes to the vitality and reputation of Montreal. It highlights the tremendous goodwill enjoyed by the Alouettes, not only among their fans but among the majority of participants in the consultation as well as the openness and receptiveness demonstrated by the club to their views. To almost every one of the concerns or objections raised, the report identifies solutions that would make the project acceptable.
Finally, with irreproachable objectivity, the report presents the choice that must be made by the elected representatives: The decision as to whether or not to authorize the expansion of the Molson Stadium requires an arbitration focusing either on the urban plan and the complementary policies in force today or on the historic presence of the Alouettes at the Molson site with the resulting advantages for the club, the spectators, and Montreal.
At a time when every major development project for Montreal seems to call for the public airing of our deepest rifts, the OCPM report is a rare commodity: a straightforward analysis which, without sweeping disagreements under the rug, offers a solid foundation for dialogue and conciliation. On behalf of the magnificent cause that is the development of Montreal, I encourage all interested parties to read the entire report and to consider all of its nuances: there is no more fertile ground on which to determine the best project for Montreal.