A lawsuit and a centennial celebration in Roxboro

Anthony Abbondanza
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Angry resident plans to sue borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro for more than $200,000 over loss of revenue

Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Jim Beis (centre) officially launched the Roxboro centennial celebration last Saturday at Roxboro Park Chalet.

With a plethora of historical activities, games, and parades announced at last Saturday’s Roxboro centennial celebration official launch, the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro may soon find itself at the centre of an upcoming lawsuit.

The Chronicle has learned that the president of a citizen-led centennial committee, Roxboro 2014, plans to sue the borough in upwards of $200,000 for loss of revenue.

“We’ve been legally restrained from participating socially… We could have made substantial money given the opportunity of the event,” said Rene Champagne, president of the committee.

The Roxboro resident wouldn’t divulge the exact amount he lost monetarily following his summer-time battle with the borough to organize his own centennial festivity. Champagne received a cease and desist order in July for using the name ‘Roxboro’ without the borough’s authorization and a clear message that the borough was and is the only promoter of the centennial celebration.

 “The names of boroughs and former cities constituting the new Ville de Montréal are its property. Therefore the unauthorized use by a third party of these names in the context of events and activities related to the Ville de Montréal cannot be tolerated,” the borough wrote in a July 29 letter published on the Pierrefonds-Roxboro website, referring to Article 3, Annex C of the charter of the city of Montréal.

Champagne alleged his endeavour was further derailed when the borough council unanimously passed legislation in August to ban the word ‘Roxboro,’ as well as block his request to use public spaces.

On Saturday morning, Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Dimitrios (Jim) Beis was surrounded by past borough mayors like Ovide Baciu and Ed Janiszewski (current mayor of Dollard des Ormeaux) when he officially kick-started the centennial celebration at Roxboro Park Chalet.

“It is with a strong sense of pride and belonging that I invite citizens to take part in the Roxboro Centennial festivities,” said the mayor.

Also on hand was the Centennial Organizing Committee (COC), charged with organizing the various activities – some of which have already been planned – throughout the calendar year.  Louise Leroux, president of the COC, released a list of activities to reporters.

“The Roxboro Centennial Committee has been working for two years in order to give you the opportunity to discover or rediscover Roxboro,” said Leroux. “It is a unique and exceptional occasion for everyone. During this year, we will try to express the passion that inspired us in the planning of the festivities that will take place all year long.”

The COC is planning a multicultural day, featuring an evening dinner, an exposition of archival photos, and folklore music, sometime in late March, followed by a Canada Day parade and Roxboro Day, set for Aug. 16.

The Roxboro centennial closing ceremony has yet to be announced.

The COC has an open-door policy, inviting all residents to join the committee and participate in event planning and organizing.

For more information on the Roxboro centennial celebration, visit https://www.facebook.com/#!/roxboro100.

Follow @AAbbondanza1 on Twitter!

Organizations: Centennial Organizing Committee, Roxboro Park Chalet, Roxboro Centennial Committee

Geographic location: Roxboro, Montréal, Pierrefonds

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