* Log Cabin Chronicles Ricky Blue's column Help Montreal golfers keep it green - don't let the airport pave it over
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Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 07.17.06

RICKY BLUE

Help Montreal golfers keep it green - don't let the airport pave it over

Canadian demographer David Foot has pointed out that golf is one of the best investments you can make in the leisure business.

With the enormous baby boom reaching 60, this activity is poised to become ever more important. And because golf courses are enormous parks, human green spaces, you would think that the West Island, home to so many baby boomers, would protect them.

You would think that a public golf course would especially be considered as vital to the health and well-being of our human population as Angell Woods in Beaconsfield is to our wildlife population.

But as I spent a sunny summer day hitting balls with my friend Danny at Golf Dorval, a 36-hole public golf course which acts as a community centre and recreational mecca for many West Islanders, I found out that the physical welfare of these West Islanders is not a priority for Aéroports de Montreal or the City of Dorval.

I learned that because ADM plans new industrial developments that will result in an estimated $22 million a year in taxes, the City of Dorval has suddenly allowed the golf club's ninety-nine year lease to magically vanish. And now Danny and his golfing buddies are forced to fight to save their beloved course, and an activity that has provided them with fresh air and exercise for years.

Danny showed me men and women in their seventies still spry and fit because they come to play almost every day. He told me about the Future Links Program which is the largest youth golf program in Canada. And I saw for myself how active and beneficial this public golf course was for all ages in between.

There are over 60,000 rounds of golf played each year as well as another 40,000 users of the practice range.

Danny also showed me all the alternative undeveloped land nearby that is owned by the airport and could be used to satisfy its needs. In fact, Aéroports de Montreal owns the largest contiguous piece of real estate on the entire Island of Montreal.

So why unnecessarily destroy this human green space that West Islanders have built up over the last 25 years? Cannot health and recreation coexist with development and progress?

Why instead, does it seem that in a back room somewhere deals have been made, plans have been drawn up and large sums of money have changed hands, public be damned?

The president and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal has big plans for Trudeau International airport, including a 300 room hotel, a rapid train link to downtown and a new road bypassing the Dorval circle.

All this is welcome: but is it not real "progress" if it paves over the well being of local residents.

I would invite him to leave his private golf club in St. Bruno just once to play a round on this public course with Danny, and see first hand what a precious resource West Islanders will lose under his current plans. Perhaps he would be persuaded to do the right thing: to use other lands owned by the Aéroports de Montreal and spare the Dorval golf course.

Last weekend Golf Dorval held a tournament to raise funds to help stop the destruction of their course; their petition has close to 10,000 signatures.

If you want to help you can reach them at www.sosdorval.com.

Help save our greens!

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