Students at Parc La Salle Celebrate New Sidewalk on Houde Drive

Local students getting things done

The Sou’Wester    By: Janice Lukes — St. Norbert City Councillor Ward Report
Posted: 10/6/2017 8:39 PM


Grade 1 and 2 students at Parc La Salle School in St. Norbert are celebrating the installation of 100 metres of new sidewalk that they enthusiastically lobbied their city councillor for.

This past February, I was invited by teacher, Ms. Angela Marquart, to read to her classroom as part of “I Love to Read Month” activities. I explained I was their representative at City Hall who worked on many things to make their lives better: ensuring their garbage was picked up; making sure snow was removed from streets and sidewalks in winter; and making sure that when they flushed their toilets, the poop went away (which oddly enough, young children just love discussing).

During question period, one bright-eyed child asked “Could you build a sidewalk so we don’t have to walk on the road?” The entire classroom jumped into the discussion and explained there was a missing piece of sidewalk on Houde Drive, between Parc La Salle School and La Barriere Crossings School. The students explained they didn’t feel safe walking on the road, and they really, really, really wanted a safe place to walk! I told them I would investigate and see what I could do to help.

Less than a week after my visit, I received an email with a photo of the Grade 1 to 2 students lined up on a section of grass pointing out where the missing sidewalk needed to be constructed! I received another email in early spring requesting that I come back to provide them with an update on how I was progressing! They again encouraged me to try as hard as I could to build the sidewalk.

A combination of the cancellation of another section of sidewalk elsewhere, outstanding turnaround work by City staff, persistence and good luck resulted in 100 metres of sidewalk being installed on Houde Drive in late August. Rarely does anything happen so quickly, but the stars had surely aligned for Ms. Marquart’s students.

In September 2017, during the first week back at school, Ms. Marquart and principal, Ms. Teresa Hampton, organized a school assembly. I brought ice cream treats and the entire school celebrated the construction of the new sidewalk. We discussed how important it was to speak up, write letters and reach out to others who can help make positive changes in the neighbourhood. I know this experience was a true life lesson for the children.

Becoming involved in your community can make the difference whether you are seven or 87 years old. If you have an idea to strengthen your community, or would like to join a neighbourhood association (who have many ideas) please email my office at for information.

Read more by Janice Lukes — St. Norbert City Councillor Ward Report.

PHOTO:  Coun. Janice Lukes with Ms. Marquart’s Grade 1 and 2 students at Parc La Salle School.