Pointe Picard, another Mcconnell?
VETERAN AFFAIRS. Users of the Pointe Picard Canadian Forces Sailing Association are concerned as it is scheduled to close on October 15. It will be another in the growing line of closing veteran facilities that has become all too common for those who need the support they offer. Though the City of Dorval has indicated that they have plans to buy the property, recent failures like the Mcconnell estate have caused much doubt.
The Pointe Picard sailing club in Dorval has been supported for 63 years by the military. There is a social club, marina and it is home to a sailing school for people of all ages.
For veterans, it was a place to meet and support each other. The federal government has a directive to support clubs for retired military for their morale and welfare stating that they should be exempt from closing. Regardless of that exemption, the department of National Defense decision to divest from any land that is not critical to operations has led to the closure of six other clubs over the last three years, and now .
The property is more than a meeting place for veterans as it is an active boat launch for residents and other sailing enthusiasts. Packing up his boat, one of the many civilians who use the land as a dry storage is angry. «It seems to me that they could have handled this better. This is a great place for family sailing. Red tape as usual, » says the man who preferred to remain anonymous.
When asked what will happen to his boat, he said, « I’ll probably have to sell it ».
Signs across the property warn boat owners to remove their belongings from the grounds by October 14, or they will be seized. There are at least 50 boats parked, including some specialized, military grade boats used to train young sailors. Their fate is unknown.
OPTIONS ARE LIMITED
Dorval council have made it known they are interested in buying Pointe Picard but the problem is that the bylaws are written at the federal level. They call for certain steps to be followed before it can be made available. The right of first refusal goes to the First Nations and after that it becomes available to federal, provincial and municipal interests.
If Dorval can make an offer, it might be easier to purchase it than bidding for the privately owned Mcconnell Woods. Unlike the Woods, the $3M Pointe property is zoned for marina, green space and institutional use and cannot be used for residential purposes which would seem to exclude any interest from developers.
Even so, veterans’ advocates are worried that it will be another failed promise.
Seeing the Mcconnell property slip away has removed a lot of faith in Dorval City Hall, and with the election coming up, the people who use the Pointe doubt anything will happen anytime soon.
Pointe Picard joins the growing list of landmarks being swept away in Dorval.