‘Junior’ city council votes for free cookies

by Martin C. Barry
Westmount Examiner
May 28th 2009

During a meeting of Westmount’s “junior” city council last week, Councillor Lowik proposed that free cookies be made available in municipal buildings, while Councillor Jackson proposed creating a skateboard park on the north side of Academy Road.

“Because Council wishes to make visits to municipal buildings more fun,” and “because eating cookies would help visitors to pass the time when they have to wait for an appointment,” Lowik moved that free cookies “be offered to any person who visits one of the municipal buildings such as City Hall, the library, the arena or Victoria Hall.”

Not the usual issues to come up in Westmount city council, to be sure. But on this special occasion, the council was made up of members of the Westmount Park Cubs.

As pointed out by Councillor John de Castell, who organized the mock council meeting and gave the Cubs a guided tour of City Hall, the skateboard park resolution would not have been very popular with local residents, had it passed.

This was the second time the Cubs were invited to City Hall to learn about municipal government. Based on some of the answers they gave, it was clear that a few of them were already more informed about what goes on there than are many adults.

“The idea is to make a bunch of little kids feel special for an hour and a half, and it’s their last meeting of their season, so we want to make it a nice finale,” de Castell told the Examiner.

“But the other thing is instead of just a visit to City Hall, which they may or may not find interesting, we wanted to make a little bit of a civics lesson, which would involve some role playing for them as the junior council of Westmount.”

The Cubs were able to do a number of things normally forbidden or considered out of bounds, even for adults. How many of us who regularly visit City Hall have always longed to ring the HMCS Westmount deck bell which graces the council chamber lobby? One Cub got to do just that.

They also got a rare visit to the attic chamber, which is usually off-limits to everyone but municipal officials and staff. Located on the third floor at City Hall, it contains a room-sized scale model of the City of Westmount, started in 1967.
Councillor John de Castell (left), Cub leader Andrew MacDougall and young guests check out the scale model of Westmount at City Hall.

Photo: Martin C. Barry

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