January 8, 2016 6:44 pm
Updated: January 8, 2016 7:08 pm

NDG shelves controversial Provigo project

WATCH ABOVE: As Global's Tim Sargeant reports, NDG borough mayor Russell Copeman is expected to withdraw plans for the grocery store, but not the housing units.

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One thing is certain: Loblaws plans to develop the land.

MONTREAL — They say you can’t fight city hall.

But perhaps you can fight and beat your borough hall.

That’s just what several residents did in the Côte-des-Neiges/NDG borough when they obtained enough signatures on a registry to force a referendum on a controversial commercial and residential project.

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The borough’s mayor is recommending his fellow councillors kill the project that would have included a Provigo grocery store, a senior’s home and rooms reserved for relatives of patients of the MUHC on the corner of Ste-Catherine Street and de Maisonneuve Boulevard.

Russell Copeman fears residents in the borough would vote against the project in the referendum and he doesn’t want to spend the fifteen to twenty thousand dollars to hold a plebiscite.

“I think it’s a waste of taxpayers money. A waste of everyone’s time,” Copeman told Global News from city hall.

If the borough kills the project, its promoters can appeal to Montreal’s city council and request that all city councillors vote to approve the proposal.

That’s an option the promoters are considering.

Opponents of the plan say they will continue their fight, arguing the area doesn’t need a Provigo and that a grocery store will only increase local traffic which is already heavily congested during rush hour.

“There would be foot traffic but there would also be car traffic. Why are they going to have 200 parking if there’s not going to be any car traffic? Of course people drive their cars to get groceries,” Alex Barta told Global News.

Provigo still believes in the existing project.

Its parent company, Loblaws, owns the property and officials are considering building a high rise office tower if the Provigo project isn’t ultimately approved.

One thing is certain: Loblaws plans to develop the land.

“We are definitely going to build there,” Johanne Héroux, the Loblaws Director of Corporate Communications, told Global News.

The CDN/NDG vote to withdraw the Provigo project is scheduled for January 18.

 

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