Parc Cletrem, bad idea of the year
I am writing to the Bulletin d’Aylmer as our last resort, trying to save this neighbourhood park. Last year, CSPO was desperately trying to find a spot for a new school because they wasted over two years doing so. They had a location for two years but suddenly decided that they can’t build there because there is a man-made water drain ditch and it is no longer convenient. They decided on the park Cletrem, which is located at Bois Franc and Impasse Hubert-Bergeron in Aylmer. The residents are strongly opposing the demolishion of the new play structures and cutting the fully grown trees.
Two years ago, Gatineau spent almost $300,000 of public funds on improving the park and the play structures. Now it will be wasted and the residents will lose their peace and tranquility with the increased traffic and pollution. The area is very small and the local roads are not designed for increased traffic. We collected almost 300 signatures from the residents and presented them to the City Councillors meeting. Nothing was stopped or considered.
There are other locations that are better for a new school but the “review committee” was consistent with the same people who chose it in the first place, so the process was not fair or transparent. The officials “did everything by the book” and the residents never had a chance to defend their position. Everyone knows it’s a horrible location, but it’s cheaper for CSPO to build, and they were expressing this point on several occasions, with electricity and water pipes already available from the park.
I drove by several other schools and it almost brings me to tears that our kids will have to go to this prison-like structure without any sport fields, or open space, or enough playgrounds. What worries me the most is how they are planning to safeguard the kids walking to school, because it was the second biggest selling point for them. There are 180 feet of road to drive to school, the length of 3 houses, everything else is enclosed by houses backing on the park. Can you imagine the desperate parents of 790 school kids trying to get to the building in the morning? Who in their right mind could even propose this construction!
It’s frustrating to see that some officials and bureaucrats don’t have any respect for the environment, citizens, or the kids. Did any of the councillors voting to demolish the park ever take a look at the area to see how small it is and how pathetic the school conditions will be?
There were many interviews and articles defending the local park, but everything is falling on deaf ears. I’m still in disbelief that they are going ahead with this construction.