Each week, TC Media invites the municipal election candidates to express their views on various local issues. Their response is published word for word. Their participation is not mandatory.
This week, we ask the candidates what specific steps would they put into place to better serve the English community.
Michèle Chappaz, Projet Montréal
I grew up in a bilingual household and live and work in both languages today. I am sensitive to our community’s language issues.
Census data show that 20.2% of Verdun residents and many organizations use English, a significant proportion of our community despite a decline over the years.
Projet Montréal elected officials Sterling Downey, Marie-Andrée Mauger and Luc Gagnon have worked tirelessly to bridge the divide between all cultural communities during their term. For instance, they transmitted important information to residents in English and ensured that English-speaking schools remained open and were included in borough activities.
Verdun’s motto E viribus duorum means “through the strength of both”. To honour this motto and our cultural riches, a Projet Montréal team will ensure that critical information is posted in English on the borough’s website and regularly updated. Advisories to residents will be bilingual and efforts will be made to offer better borough services to all.
Recruitment measures will be implemented to ensure better representation of the English-speaking community on official borough committees, such as the Verdun Youth Council.
The Projet Montréal team knows that I love both language communities. Our team reflects Verdun’s diversity and will work to represent all Verdun residents.
Jean-François Parenteau, Équipe Coderre
Since our first day in office, my team and I recognized the necessity to strengthen the relationship between the Borough and its English-speaking community.
One of the pillars of any community is its schools. Students’ retention and success were a major focus of our administration and English schools were always included in this effort. I personally toured every English school to speak directly to our youth. The Borough also co-organized the first Summit on educational success. It was mostly bilingual and the second edition must be even more inclusive.
We also actively participated in the campaign to prevent the closure of Riverview Elementary School. During this period, we built up trust with Lester B. Pearson School Board. We now help them develop new projects such as establishing a social pediatric center providing English services in Verdun.
In our next mandate, we will uphold our support to organizations such as the Dawson Community Center and the SouthWest Mission. We will provide up-to-date information in English on the Borough website. And most of all, you will be able to count on councillors who are fluently bilingual and who have been involved in your community for years now.