Efforts to save a beloved bocce club in Ahuntsic-Cartierville have hit a snag, as opposition Ensemble Montréal mayors from two neighbouring boroughs have quashed the idea of sharing rental costs of the building.
“Yes, there has to be a solution found and that solution emanates from Ahuntsic-Cartierville,” reasoned St. Laurent borough mayor Alan de-Sousa during a press conference with his Montreal North counterpart, Christine Black, to announce their decision.
“This is a local problem, serving local people.”
Borough mayor Émilie Thuillier, a member of Projet Montréal, decided earlier this year to not renew the more than $200,000 lease for a building that houses the club.
She argued it’s too expensive.
When residents and members of the Ahuntsic-Cartierville Bocce Club reacted with indignation, the borough proposed Monday that the lease be split among three boroughs where they say club members live, with the club making up the balance.
“We’re asking that each borough, Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Montreal North and St. Laurent each put $60,000 for a period of five years to save the club,” Projet Montreal’s Ahuntsic-Cartierville city councillor Jerome Normand told Global News Monday.
For DeSousa that reasoning doesn’t make sense, claiming non-residents use facilities in his borough.
Besides, he pointed out, his borough has its own bocce facility.
Now, club members in Ahuntsic-Cartierville are back to square one.
Club member Cecile Fazioli believes Ahuntsic-Cartierville should continue paying the lease.
“Not to distribute it between the three boroughs,” she pointed out. “They have their problems and I think we should solve ours.”
One advocate believes politics is at the heart of the debate and that seniors at the club are paying the price.
“I do believe that any service for seniors is an essential service,” stressed Roberto Colavecchio, president of the National Congress of Italian Canadians of Canada.
Bocce club members plan to meet soon to discuss next steps.