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Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting the twelve primary school students who will make up Mount Royal’s first Townschool Council. You can believe me when I say that it was a dozen on-the-ball young people whom we welcomed to Town Hall that evening to be sworn in as junior councillors.

They first had to win elections in their respective schools – Académie Saint-Clément, Carlyle, Dunrae Gardens – which they each did by developing, on their own, a project that would benefit the community. They then came to Town Hall to take the oath of office, a step they passed with flying colours and with all the seriousness expected for a ceremonial activity. They will next meet on December 6 in order to choose from among their twelve projects the one on which they will focus their combined forces.

You know, while only in sixth grade, these young people are truly impressive!

I wanted to make the big issues of municipal democracy accessible to young people. The Townschool Council grew out of that idea. It will be an introduction, supervised by me, to the concepts of citizen participation, political involvement and democratic representation. In short, it is a way to learn by doing and to transmit civic values that I deem important at a time when young people are all too easily blamed for lacking interest in the subject. Trust me, the twelve students I met last week were nothing if not interested.

Municipal politics has been profoundly shaken this year. Just beyond our borders, allegations of corruption are increasing, witnesses are delivering explosive testimony, doubt is being sown. As a result, public opinion has suffered and we sometimes forget that politics is not merely a web of horror stories. Far from it!

I see before me twelve primary school students who are beginning their terms as Townschool Councillors and who believe in a better world. I see before me twelve future leaders. And to all of us I can promise wonderful meetings devoted to the discovery of democracy. To be continued!

Come attend the Great Centennial Show

In this centennial year, no effort has been spared when it comes to celebrating, looking back and ensuring our community maintains its impressive momentum.

From the start, our celebratory activities – which are ongoing – have met with great success. Over the months, like many of you, I’ve indulged my sweet tooth at the urban sugar shack, skated on the ice pathway in Connaught Park, danced to a big band at the Centennial Ball, attended a fast-paced street hockey tournament, golfed in a tournament last summer and admired beautiful vintage cars this fall, to mention only those. In short, I’ve had a great time. And, based on what I’ve heard from you, I’m far from the only one.

There are memorable moments still in store for us. I’m thinking especially of the Great Centennial Show on December 4. It will bring together various singers and musicians under the direction of L’Arsenal à musique, a local music ensemble that has long enjoyed success around the globe.

We will also have the honour and extreme pleasure of welcoming the renowned Cœur de pirate at this professional quality show. Back when she was still called Béatrice, well before becoming a phenomenon on both sides of the Atlantic, it was in our streets that Cœur de pirate grew up. That it is one of our own who will crown our centennial celebrations at an event that will feature on-stage performances from other talented Townies is excellent news. Held at the Mount Royal High School auditorium, this show promises to be memorable.

I encourage you to purchase your tickets now. They will be sold only in advance and will probably be snatched up fast. You can buy them at the Town Hall, Recreation Centre and Public Security service counters for an extremely reasonable $10 or through the Admission Network at 855-790-1245 or on the website www.admission.com for $16.20, including fees and postage.

After that, we will gather on December 21, a key date in our Town’s history, when Mount Royal will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding and open, before your very eyes, the time capsule buried in Peace Park in 1962 by Mayor Dawson and his team. Be there!

Philippe Roy

Mayor

90 Roosevelt Avenue

Mont-Royal H3R 1Z5