Posted by: pafmurray | May 11, 2009

Le Tour de l’Ile lies in The Gazette! :o)

Le Tour de l’Ile can not attack the message, so they again sink to attacking the messenger :o)

My response to Le Tour’s letter in The Gazette (immediately below)  is right below their spokesperson’s (Patrick Howe) letter.

*                       *                       *                       *                       *

Re: “No more free rides for the Tour de l’Île” (Opinion, April 28).

Murray Levine has been inundating organizers of the Tour de l’Île de Montréal with his letters, first by fax then by email, for 17 years. For the past few years he has been seeking to have municipal officials ban the Tour de l’Île. He says certain municipalities and boroughs have refused to make their streets available for the Tour because the event is not associated with a charitable cause. In fact, no municipality or borough has banned the Tour for this reason.

Vélo Québec is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote a better quality of life and a healthier environment by organizing cycling events and bicycle trips. We consider this to be a noble mission.

We believe the success of the Tour de l’Île is due to the fact that the event is non-competitive and the participants have no obligation other than to enjoy exploring Montreal by bicycle. The Tour accomplishes a great deal in terms of promoting a healthier lifestyle.

Vélo Québec is not a foundation, but our organization assists foundations by providing them with expertise. Since 1990, for example, Vélo Québec has served as executive producer of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada’s MS Bike Tour.

We wonder how serious Mr. Levine is. How can it be that in 17 years he has not taken it upon himself to organize a single philanthropic cycling event? His tactics have done nothing to convince us of the validity of his ideas.

Patrick Howe

Velo Quebec

Sent: Saturday, May 09, 2009 10:10 AM
To: ‘’;

Subject: I told you so, Paul! :o)

With regard to “Fair Play for Le Tour de l’Ile de Montreal” Gazette Letters May 9, 2009

Le Tour de l’Ile’s Patrick Howe mentioned that I have been “inundating organizers of Le Tour de l’Ile de Montreal with his letters first by fax and then by email for 17 yrs”.

That statement is not exactly true as I have not contacted Le Tour by fax (or any other manner) for at least 12 years and I personally have never sent an email to the organizers of Le Tour. Any emails that I personally sent were to Velo Mag editors, for the purpose of their doing a story in their cycling magazine.

Mr. Howe incorrectly mentioned that no municipality has banned Le Tour for not cooperating with charity. I highly suggest that Mr. Howe speak to the mayors of Dorval and Kirkland, as their cities have both banned the event until it cooperates with charity. A story mentioning exactly this was published in The Gazette West Island on March 19.

Laval confirmed this week that they have banned the event as they are not interested in having the expense, and there is nothing in it for Laval. Cote St. Luc and Dollard des Ormeaux have both banned the event because of the inconvenience, and Mr. Howe or anyone can easily verify the foregoing.

I have absolutely nothing against the mission of Le Tour/Velo Quebec, in fact I fully support it.

What I am against, and the vast majority of people seem to be against, is having an event that cost the taxpayers $602,000 in 2008, and inconvenienced thousands upon thousands of people, not fully cooperating with charity, as do thousands of similar events worldwide.

Mr Howe has stated that Velo Quebec is the “executive producer of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada’s MS Bike Tour”. I commend Velo Quebec for this. They are a truly wonderful organization. What Mr. Howe failed to mention is that Velo Quebec actually charges the MS Society for the work that they do, and in my opinion, his failure to mention this fact is nothing  but an attempt to obfuscate the matter (as usual).

Another attempt to obfuscate is Mr Howe’s mentioning that I have never taken it upon myself to organize “a single philanthropic cycling event.” As a matter of fact I have, but “What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?” It is far more efficient for charities to piggyback upon existing athletic events, than to create their own. That is precisely why I push the idea to charities, and have been doing so as a volunteer for about 22 years!

Prior to my first contacting Le Tour/Velo Quebec, about cooperating with charity in 1993, I met with a past- President of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation.  She said; “You will be wasting your time. Their heads are so high in the clouds for organizing the largest cycling event in the world, you can’t even talk to them.”

Plus ca change!

Murray Levine


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