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Magda Popeanu hits the street
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 10 septembre 2009
AIf you were at the corner of Édouard-Montpetit and Côte-des-Neiges on the evening of September 1, odds are you ran into Magda Popeanu and her team, handing out postcards and playing a game of makeshift mini-putt on the side of the road. Popeanu was out on the street unveiling her platform and promoting her candidacy as councillor for the Côte-des-Neiges district of CDN-NDG for the upcoming elections in November.

As a member of the Projet Montréal team, Popeanu has set as her main goal bringing Montreal and the district of CDN into the 21st century. She plans to do so by emphasizing the ineffective ways of city hall, by facing head-on the problems of traffic on the island and in CDN specifically, and by promoting businesses in order to attract people to the district.

Popeanu has put a great emphasis on the state of roads and traffic in the CDN district especially on Côte-des-Neiges road where cars and buses clog the street. She believes the Tremblay administration has failed when it comes to the promise of reducing traffic.

“What have they done? There are more and more cars on our streets,” she said. “Where will we put those cars if we don’t take global measures to increase the capacity of our public transportation? We could do electrical transportation, reserved lanes for buses, and we could discourage cars from entering in our area.”

However, she admits that if elected, it’s not simply a matter of a couple of months.

“Project for public transportation is not an issue of one year or two, it’s a long road.”

Popeanu is also fully aware of the amount of people that work in CDN but go home when the workday is over.

“We have several institutions; three hospitals, two universities, colleges and private schools and all these people come here, they work or go to school, but they go away to shop and sleep,” she said.

She thinks more should be done to promote businesses in the CDN district especially those along the busy Côte-des-Neiges road.

« We want people to say ‘why not shop in CDN because it’s the place to buy fancy things. »

On a broader scale, Popeanu calls for greater transparency in city hall. Citing the recent contracting scandal of the Tremblay administration, Popeanu outlined Projet Montréal’s call for greater organization when giving out contracts.

“The city could decide what kind of qualifications or criteria we want to put,” she said. “Has the company already had contracts in the city and did they do well? Is the company a local company? Is the company multicultural? Is the company hiring women and respecting equality issues?

“[There is] a fracture between the citizens and the political level [at city hall]. So by introducing participatory democracy, transparency, and a way to manage the city, we won’t have to be cynical.”

Popeanu has already campaigned quite extensively, having knocked on more than 2,000 doors in her district.

“I believe I offer a good choice to a population that is misplaced right now between two administrations,” she said. “I want to show that I can do something for them.”

Popeanu faces a sole opponent; former Plateau Mont Royal borough mayor, Helen Fotopulos, a member of Union Montréal.

[ Sarah Leavitt ]

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