De­mons­tra­tors call for more ska­ting rinks

Les Nouvelles Saint-Laurent - - NEWS - (S.S./M.B.)

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.

(Pho­to:Ala­rie Pho­tos)

At a de­mons­tra­tion held on Tues­day Oc­to­ber 6 op­po­site the St. Laurent bo­rough hall, ice sports as­so­cia­tions ex­pres­sed their dis­sa­tis­fac­tion.

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