The mission of the Peter-McGill Community Council is to bring together and promote collaboration between the district’s residents, shopkeepers, workers and students, and the public and community organizations that serve them. The Table aims to encourage a sense of belonging to the neighbourhood and an active involvement in the life of the community by creating a place where stakeholders can express their concerns, collectively determine priorities for action and be empowered to improve the quality of life in the neighbourhood.
- To create a space (literal or figurative) where the population (residents, merchants, workers, students in the district) may express concerns, make known their points of view and engage in collective actions to improve the quality of life in the neighbourhood;
- To develop ways of informing and communicating with the district’s residents, merchants, workers and students, and the public and community organizations that serve them;
- To bring together residents, merchants, workers and students with the public and community organizations that serve them to collectively identify community needs, prioritize actions and carry them out.
Before 2002 there were a few sectoral round tables in the western part of downtown. They included the Regroupement des services aux aînés-centre-ville, Forum jeunesse, the Table des centres de la petite enfance, the Comité de direction jeunesse, a table for groups working with women in the CLSC Métro area and an itinerant round table. These were discussion or information forums consisting solely of community organizations and public institutions. With the exception of the itinerant round table, their area of concern was the CLSC Métro area (which included the Westmount borough, western downtown and the McGill ghetto) and not a geographically determined area.
These round tables focussed on certain subjects, and it was apparent that they were limited in their ability to act more globally on topics concerning the quality of life downtown. The idea of developing a neighbourhood round table grew in the minds of several people for some time. Forum jeunesse entertained the notion with a view to carrying out certain large-scale projects that exceeded its mandate and for which it did not have the resources to get off the ground.
The Montreal Summit, which was held in May and June 2002, was an occasion to bring together the community organizations in the Peter McGill district, with all sectors of intervention taken into account, to inform them of how the consultative event would unfold and to collectively define the district’s priorities and needs. Once these needs were identified, and due to the fact that very few of the organizations in the district were invited to speak during the summit, the organizations present were prompted to band together in order to put forward their point of view, coordinate their efforts and take action regarding the needs that had been identified.
A working committee was then formed to start up a neighbourhood round table. The Peter McGill Community Council round table was incorporated in December 2002 and held its founding meeting in June 2003.
Since then, the Table has conducted various activities and allowed community actors to speak with one voice on matters related to urban planning, social housing, social inclusion, urban safety, abatement of traffic, green spaces, cleanliness and the place of families.