Eric Alan Caldwell
Éric Alan Caldwell was following the municipal news without being politically involved when, around 2004, some groups wanted Notre-Dame Street to be turned into a highway. The only party that opposed this idea and favoured public and active transportation was a young party called Projet Montréal: Éric joined it. For 8 years, he regularly followed the borough councils of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and was a candidate in the 2005 and 2009 elections, before being elected city councillor in Hochelaga, in 2013.
From the moment he was elected, Éric considered the mandate given to him by the population as a privileged role, which comes with responsibilities and duties, and in which he invests himself completely. Now responsible for urban planning and mobility on the executive committee, Éric sees himself as an elected official who is fully involved in all aspects of his files. If he hasn't heard about a project for a while, he gets worried and checks into it: Éric prefers to keep a close eye on the puck to prevent things from stalling.
Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is a diverse borough, where the issues are not the same in the east as in the west. In his district, Éric is delighted to see the bicycle networks multiplying; for the pedestrian part, he would like to create a string of small interconnected parks, by recovering institutional green spaces (such as church squares and grounds). He sees this as a great opportunity to make it a corridor of cool islands and into places of animation for the whole neighbourhood.
Speaking of green spaces, Éric has developed a global vision of large parks by working with his colleagues at Projet Montréal: he sees them as a whole rather than as distinct ""green spots"" on the map. Éric would like to see biodiversity, active transportation and recreational corridors created between them. This complex and long-term plan will shape the city for centuries to come. The projects that are underway now will shape the city of tomorrow, and Éric is proud to be a part of it. He feels completely at home as a councillor, and to this day, he still sees it as the most exhilarating and rewarding experience of his life.
And where does Notre-Dame Street fit into all of this? In 2017, Éric had a project for a structuring public transit link on Notre-Dame included in the Plan des initiatives de développement du transport collectif (PIDTC) of the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), in collaboration with the Quebec government. Currently, the REM project on Notre-Dame is well underway, and no one is talking about building a highway there anymore, which makes Éric very happy.