Demonstrators call for more skating rinks
The three main sports associations that use the Raymond-bourque Arena are unhappy:the facilities are inadequate. They expressed their dissatisfaction by holding a demonstration, Tuesday October 6, in front of the St. Laurent borough hall.
“We are worried because we see nothing coming. Compared to the other boroughs, St. Laurent has an arena for 90,000 people, while elsewhere, the ratio is 25,000 or 30,000 people per arena,” said Martin Blanchet, president of the St. Laurent Ringette Association, in an interview just before the demonstration.
“In addition, our arena is growing old.” The season has begun and one of the two skating rinks is on “life support.” It will soon have to undergo work, which would deprive associations of half of their already meager resources. “That would provide ice for 90,000 people,” added Blanchet.
According to the St. Laurent Hockey Association, also present at the demonstration, more than a hundred children are refused entry into the club each year, due to the lack of available facilities. The figure skating club is also concerned, and its president Étienne Bouillière has come, on several occasions, to ask the Mayor of St. Laurent if additional space is planned in the near future. The response by Desousa was that this type of project was not on the agenda.
Bouillière returned to the borough council question period on October 6. The answer from the mayor did not change. He indicated that the projects for the library and sports complex alone cost $30 million and $44 million respectively. The message is that there is really no more money available for new facilities for ice skaters. A petition and comments made by citizens were submitted by the ice sports associations.
In light of the response by the mayor, hope for new facilities has melted like ice under the sun.
At a demonstration held on Tuesday October 6 opposite the St. Laurent borough hall, ice sports associations expressed their dissatisfaction.