Verdun en Transition

First Meeting of Verdun en Transition

The first public meeting of “Verdun en Transition” took place at the Dawson Community Centre on Tuesday, April 24, 2012. The grassroots initiative aims to build community resilience to climate change and peak oil.

“Why wait until the global crisis in energy, ecology and economics forces us to act? The people of Verdun can begin organising locally now to reduce their dependence on carbon fossil fuels while improving the quality of life in our neighbourhoods,” says Tracey Arial, a member of the initiating committee.

A total of 33 people attended this initial meeting. Among them were Alain Tassé, the city councillor for the Desmarchais-Crawford district; Vincens Côté, the coordinator of la Maison de l’environnement de Verdun; and Julien Caffin, who is in charge of the Quartier 21 project established by the Concertation et développement social Verdun (CSDV), which will be officially launched on May 3.

Presenter Michel Durand, a founding member of the Transition Quebec Network and the adaptor of Rob Hopkin’s Transition Manual in French, began the evening by outlining the scope of the project. “Verdun en transition is joining an international movement linking around 400 initiatives in 20 different countries,”he said.

Blaise Rémillard from the Villeray en Transition group gave a sense of the fun and excitement that can happen when people start thinking in new ways together. “Verdun is following the lead of other boroughs that have thrown themselves into an experience of education, involvement and community participation,” he said.

Verdun’s group is planning several activities to sensitize the population and build networks between different community groups and organizations. Watch for our documentary films, cultural cafés, etc. Or join our organizing committee and help figure out what we should do next!

For more information on the Transition Movement:

Réseau Transition Québec :

Villeray en Transition :

International Network:

For more information about Verdun’s group:

Facebook page:


Bilan de la première rencontre publique de Verdun en transition

Verdun, 26 avril 2012 – Mardi dernier se tenait au centre communautaire Dawson la première rencontre publique de Verdun en transition, une initiative locale visant développer la capacité de la communauté à faire face aux effets des changements climatiques et du pic pétrolier. «Pourquoi attendre que la crise énergétique, écologique et économique globale ne nous force à réagir? La population verdunoise peut s’organiser localement pour réduire dès maintenant sa dépendance aux carburants fossiles et améliorer la qualité de vie dans les quartiers», explique Tracey Arial, membre du comité initiateur.

Au total, trente-trois personnes ont répondu à l’appel pour cette première rencontre publique, dont le conseiller du district Desmarchais-Crawford, Alain Tassé, le coordonnateur de la Maison de l’environnement de Verdun, Vincens Côté, ainsi que Julien Caffin, chargé de projet à Concertation et développement social Verdun (CSDV) pour le Quartier 21 qui sera lancé officiellement le 3 mai.

Michel Durand, membre-fondateur du Réseau Transition Quebec et coordonnateur de l’adaptation francophone du Manuel de transition, paru en 2010 aux éditions Écosociété, a rappelé que «Verdun en transition s’inscrit dans la foulée d’un mouvement international, regroupant environ 400 initiatives dans une vingtaine de pays».

Blaise Rémillard du groupe Villeray en Transition a donné un avant goût de l’enthousiasme des gens lorsqu’il se réapproprient leur milieu de vie. Verdun vient ainsi emboîter le pas à d’autres arrondissements montréalais qui se sont lancé dans «cette expérience de sensibilisation, d’implication et de participation communautaire».

Différentes activités publiques de sensibilisation auprès de la population et de réseautage entre divers groupes et organismes de la communauté sont à venir dans les prochaines semaines : projections de film, cafés culturels, etc. Joignez vous au mouvement!

Plus d’information sur le mouvement de transition :

Réseau Transition Québec :

Villeray en Transition :

Page Facebook du groupe :



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Verdun Spring Activities Bloom This Week

May 5, 2012

Verdun’s 21st Annual Green Space Clean-up takes place Saturday, May 5

Verdun’s beautification committee has organized several annual events designed to spruce the borough up in time for summer. Registration for garden and photo contests, sales of garden plants and sign-up for the green space clean-up began this week.

The annual green space and bike paths clean up and the tree, bush and compost pick up takes place on the first weekend in May.

“Canadian Tire is giving us boxes of flowers for the first 250 households who register for the garden contest,” says Karine Larrivée, who is in charge of committee activities.

Larrivée and her boss Normand Houle are the only borough members on an otherwise citizen-run committee that meets five times a year in addition to participating in all the events. Other members include Odette Harton, who is the president, Lucie Vaillancourt, Hélène Gamache, Walter Grandoni and Annie Toutiras. “These people all love Verdun,” said Larrivée. “Everything we do is to beautify the neighbourhood.”

Their most important activity is the 21st annual green space and bike paths clean-up, which takes place on the morning of Saturday May 5. Last year, the event attracted 600 people, 200 of whom cleaned up the shore of Nun’s Island, while the rest concentrated on the mainland and the bike path on the bridge.

“People usually come with their organizations or companies,” she said. “Last year, we had the Air Transat. This year, it’s the Yellow Pages on Nun’s Island.” [I participated for the last three years with SKIF-Montreal, which trains in Verdun.]

Citizens who purchase discounted plants from the community centres beginning this week will pick them up the following morning, May 6, at the Municipal Greenhouses, 7000 boulevard LaSalle, between 8:30 and 11 a.m. Larivée says that the committee added vines to the catalogue this year so that groups working to green their lanes can cover backyard fences.

Any Verdun citizen who brings a bag or bucket can also pick up some free compost from the St. Michel Environmental Complex at the same time. The Maison de l’Environnment, in Borough Hall, will be giving out compost the following weekend as well, says Larrivée.

Then in July, the embellishment committee will pre-select the boroughs most attractive gardens to be judged by author, broadcaster, publisher Julie Boudreau on July 18 and 19.

For more information, contact Verdun’s Direction de la culture, des sports, des loisirs et du développement social at 514 765-7150 or view the committee’s website at The site contains a list of all the activities, an on-line catalogue of the plants they’re selling, project outlines and a list of past and present committee members.

(Note: This article appeared in the Suburban City Edition, April 25, p 14.)

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Bill C-11 to Face Third Reading in the House Soon

Bill C-11, An Act to Amend Canada’s Copyright Act (la Loi modifiant la Loi sur le droit d’auteur) had its first reading in the House of Commons on September 29, 2011 and faces a third reading in the house very soon.

That means legislators will again have a chance to debate the merits of a bill that falls far short of what it needs to do. We have one more chance to make our points to our legislators.

Luckily, the latest bill gives photographers the same rights as other creators. That’s heading in the right direction. Now we have to give visual artists the same rights too.

In other ways, however, the concerns of creators like me remain largely ignored. Instead, this new bill amends the copyright act in a way that pleases businesses, educators, libraries, students and consumers in the futile aim to create a balance between all these interests.

That occurred in part because writers have been busy trying to adjust to enormous turmoil in the industry and fighting with those who use and commercialize our work and/or learning to commercialize it ourselves throughout the period since Canada signed the WIPO Treaty in 2005. Salaried commentators, including lawyers, professors, librarians and administrators got a virtual monopoly on the conversation.

Part of the turmoil occurred because writers launched four different class-action lawsuits against publishers beginning in 1999. They are: L’AJIQ contre Le Devoir; Robertson versus Thomson et al; Robertson versus Thomson et al II; and The Electronics Rights Defense Committee (ERDC) contre Southam Inc et al. The last of those lawsuits has just been settled.

Writers’ arguments against publishers became part of the conversation around copyright and that encouraged legislators to view themselves as moderators. This gave an opening for others trying to cut costs to make stronger cases.

The need to balance creation with use and commercialization shouldn’t be the goal of copyright.

Like patents, good copyright laws should provide incentive to create inventory. Creators need long gestation periods, flexible contract terms and the ability to share in the results of their labour, which often aren’t realized until decades after our works are produced.

We need to focus on those messages.

Failing that, we need to begin creating a new kind of conversation for the next round of amendments.


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