Members of the Jean-Mance softball community fighting to see the return of the north field swung their first strike today, as the judge postponed their case.
Justice Robert Castiglio has called for the city and the plaintiffs from Jean-Mance softball community to return to court in January.
Six plaintiffs have brought the city to court over the demolition of the north softball field in the Mont-Royal park.
The field was removed in May of 2018 due to safety concerns according to the city.
Lead plaintiff Marisa Berry-Mendez says the city’s claims don’t hold water.
“The justifications offered by the city for removing the field around safety and lack of space are unfounded,” said Berry-Mendez.
On Friday, a group of passionate ball players came out in numbers filling the small court room .
They are claiming that the city failed to acquire the proper permit from the Quebec Ministry of Culture as required by the Cultural Heritage Act, for the alteration of provincial heritage sites such as Mont-Royal, which includes Jeanne-Mance Park.
They are also arguing the validity of the tests done by the city, on the liability and safety of ball trajectories potentially causing injury.
The city said in a statement they have concluded public consultations in June.
They are presently developing a plan on the future of Jean-Mance park .
“We are now at the stage of writing the master plan, the draft will be subject to public consultation at a later date before it is adopted by the municipal authorities,” city officials said in a statement.
The projected plans for the park are expected sometime by spring 2020.
Officials say a new softball park could possibly see a return to the foot of the mountain.
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Plaintiff David Smith, 71, has played on the field for over 30 years.
“It’s the best place for a baseball diamond,” Smith said. “It’s simple — that’s why people have played there for over 120 years.”
Smith says he wants to play ball on the diamond once again, with the next generation by his side.
“I’m too old to play much longer but for the future, it’s very important,” Smith said.
Justice Castiglio said he was unfamiliar with the case material and decided to push the court date to January 21 and 22.
“We are really committed ,” Berry-Mendez said.
“We have a really mobilized team that feels this is a cause worth fighting for and I think we will continue until the field is back.”