Kaisse de Depot at Placement du Quebec knows that its lofty REM project on the Rene-Lowesque, from the Jacques-Cartier Bridge to the Place Bonaventure, is far less accessible to the Montreal population. So she ordered an extensive campaign with our money to make people accept it as unacceptable.
She has been able to acquire Jean-Paul Viguer, an architect who has been building cool buildings with architectural grammar since the 1970s.
Kaisse has set up a committee of 15 people, which meets once a month. For exactly what purpose? These individuals were not instructed to review the air route of the REM. They will have to act as a lightning rod for the Kaisse directors who made the painful decision to build an aerial REM in the city center. Officially, Kaisse asks them to minimize the effects of Vice REM.
The Heritage Montreal representative who was approached to be part of this committee was honest enough to refuse to sit on it, as she did not believe that “decorations” on such a monster would solve the problem.
What she said is true. Naturally, all Montreals understand this. Similar lines elsewhere in the world are disasters. Talk to Bangkok people for example.
However, there are other solutions. There is no need to connect the Eastern REM directly to the Place Bonaventure. It may be well connected to Berry-UQM Station or Champ-de-Mars or go further north under Sherbrook Street and end at McGill or Place-des-Arts. According to Kais executives, there are several alternative underground routes if the land under Rene-Lowesque is too fragile to support the new tunnel (which is doubtful).
Disappointing reaction from Plante and Coderre
The response from the two mayoral candidates has been disappointing. Denise Coderre and Valerie Plante support the aerial REM in the city center. But it’s only foolish people who have not changed their minds. They may eventually understand why the Downtown Aerial REM project is awful. Did they even know that aerial REM makes as much noise as an airplane? In its aerial part of the city center the REM is enough to make the surrounding buildings completely unattractive.
Will the owners of these buildings seek compensation for the loss of value made? Did Kaisse Depot include these costs in its learned calculations?
The most frustrating thing is that the Kaisse directors who make decisions around the REM are not elected officials. They are not heard by the citizens. The whole REM project is a fine example of why it is good for elected officials to make these kinds of decisions.
Very weakly elected
Unfortunately, for decades, our elected officials have had the bad habit of relinquishing their powers in favor of parastatal institutions, courts or extreme decentralization. And then, they wonder if the population despises themselves. But this is another question.