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Back to square one for Montreal seniors’ bocce club?

Click to play video: 'Back to square one for Montreal seniors’ bocce club?'
Back to square one for Montreal seniors’ bocce club?
WATCH: Efforts to save a beloved Bocce ball club in Ahuntsic-Cartierville have hit a snag, as mayors from two neighboring boroughs have quashed the idea of sharing rental costs of the building. As Global's Phil Carpenter explains, seniors who frequent the club say they're not giving up yet.

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.

Read more: City of Montreal makes a proposal they believe will save local bocce club

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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.

“In St. Laurent, we welcome [people] wherever they come to use our facilities,” he said.  “We’re big boys and girls, we recognize it’s not just our community.”

Besides, he pointed out, his borough has its own bocce facility.

Now, club members in Ahuntsic-Cartierville are back to square one.

Click to play video: 'City of Montreal makes a proposal they believe could save local bocce club'
City of Montreal makes a proposal they believe could save local bocce club

Club member Cecile Fazioli believes Ahuntsic-Cartierville should continue paying the lease.

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“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.

“I believe that these city officials [must] stop once and for all this politics of finger-pointing.

Bocce club members plan to meet soon to discuss next steps.

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