Greg Duncan

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Island synergy yes, merger no

It seems that things are worse commercially than we might think around our island town(s). If you have been following this blog, you know that I have offered up my two cents worth on the issue of some increasingly derelict commercial buildings and vacant lots in the area. I’ve now just read that the situation has grown so dire that a local business leader has recently described the commercial situation on Ile Perrot as being “macabre.” Now that’s saying something.

At a recent monthly gathering of L’Association des gens d’affaires de l’Ile Perrot (AGAIP) president Gérard Farmer expressed a wish to see our four island municipalities merge as part of ongoing efforts toward revitalization, the premise being that one combined entity would carry more political power and weight. As well, he is of the opinion that the RELIP is an example of a first step as it has been founded on the principle of one island-one town.

Whoa Nelly. Let’s not put the cart before the horse, I say. The RELIP (Régie des équipements en loisir de l’île Perrot) may indeed be a good combined effort designed to create synergies between towns on the sport, recreational and cultural landscape, but as a stepping-stone toward municipal fusion and merger? That’s a whole other kettle of fish.

While the mayors of Pincourt and Ile Perrot have previously indicated being “open” to a merger, that has not been the case with the mayors from Terrasse Vaudreuil and Notre Dame de l’Ile Perrot, and this provides me with some sense of relief. But for how long I wonder, having lived through a merger in my hometown in the Eastern Townships previously. By what method would we merge? By referendum, or forced? I’m not convinced that everyone would win in a merger. In fact, I am sure that some would lose.

It is my hope that we will revitalize and bring new business to Ile Perrot in tandem with the significant commercial growth occurring in Vaudreuil-Dorion, but do we really need to merge all municipal services and administration of our four towns to address our commercial conundrum?

 

One comment

  1. By Mbele Simba Oulou

    It is inconceivable that the Provincial Government allows 4 municipalities in the Island, unless their intention is to continue imposing the SQ as the local police force, at an exorbitant price. A single Municipality would be a lot cheaper to operate, would have less elected officials and workers and need less equipment. A considerable savings in future payments on pension plans can also be achieved. This single entity would be much more efficient in solving the problems now shared by the 4 Towns, of which, Terrace Vaudreuil, has only about 800 houses. I am sure that if an independent referendum was held in the Island, a vast majority would back the one Municipality idea.

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