Voters Beware

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InfoSAB did a tour of Facebook accounts, reviewing the comments and postings regarding the November 3rd elections in Ste Anne de Bellevue. Much of the talk is about the fact that, incredibly, two candidates running for office (one for Mayor, one for council) have real estate interests – which they certainly aren’t advertising in their campaigns. As many have pointed out on Facebook and the West Island Gazette this constitutes a major conflict of interest given the protected forests and wetlands that could be developed here.

Why Development is Undesirable
With our apologies to the rabid tree-huggers out there, this isn’t just about the environment. Sure InfoSAB is 100% supportive of nature, wildlife, and green spaces, but the financial arguments are the critical ones. Sainte Anne de Bellevue, despite what the ex-cop candidate thinks, is a very safe town. We don’t need extra police presence and we can’t afford to pay for it with our tax dollars. That will change radically if this town is transformed into a ghetto with transients coming in from all over the island to take advantage of cheap housing and apartments. That’s when the crime will start to rise. With it will come much more traffic as well, and pollution from all the additional cars. Don’t fool yourselves, the PQ and the STM don’t have any plans to improve public transit in SADB, not now, not ever – way too expensive and we don’t vote PQ.

Increased Taxes
If development is allowed, our population will double or triple and so will the need for new services including infrastructure, hospitals, mail delivery, garbage collection, parks, schools, etc. That will cost a fortune and guess who will pay for it? Not the newcomers, the existing citizens will pay for it. The outgoing Mayor had an interesting take on our taxes – don’t raise them, just keep borrowing money until the town has so much debt it goes into trusteeship. Nice. So expect your tax bill to rise and possibly double.

Decreased Property Values
With all the competition from new homes and cheap housing you will have a hard time selling your home. To add to the insult, the green spaces that made your property attractive in the first place will be replaced with cheap buildings – so you can flush another 20 – 30% of your equity down the golden toilet. What does that mean in dollars? If your house is evaluated at $400,000 you will lose $80,000 or $120,000. But take solace in knowing that the landowners and real estate promoters will be very happy with their profits. So will organized crime, they get to build all the roads and bid on all the municipal projects, just like they do in Montreal and Laval (google “Charbonneau Commission” for a taste of what could be in store).

So who do we vote for?
Only one candidate for Mayor, Paola Hawa, doesn’t have ties to real estate. As for the other candidates, do your own research, google their names and see what pops up, then decide who is looking out for themselves and who will look out for the citizens.

InfoSAB endorses Paola for Mayor.