Pointe Pi­card, ano­ther Mc­con­nell?

Le Messager Lachine & Dorval - - LOCAL NEWS - DA­VID COX da­vid.cox@tc.tc

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 .

COM­MU­NI­TY LOSS

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.

(Pho­to : TC Me­dia – Da­vid Cox)

Pointe Pi­card joins the gro­wing list of land­marks being swept away in Dor­val.

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