A call for the creation
of a new wildlife reserve
The Green Coalition urges the establishment of a National Wildlife Area on Federal lands adjacent to the Technoparc
Request for an emergency virtual meeting regarding the National Wildlife Area on federal lands adjacent to the Technoparc, north of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport.
November 5, 2020
The Honourable Ministers Marc Garneau, Jonathan Wilkinson and Steven Guilbeault,
The Green Coalition, an association of more than sixty citizen groups throughout the Greater Montreal area dedicated to the protection of the environment, respectfully but urgently requests a virtual meeting as soon as possible.
The federal Cabinet is about to sign an agreement on the $600 million needed by Aéroports de Montréal to build its REM station. However, in the Speech from the Throne, the government made important new commitments: “The pandemic has reminded Canadians how precious nature is to them. The government will work with municipalities as part of a new commitment to increase the number of parks in urban areas so that everyone has access to green space…”
National Wildlife Area
The Green Coalition believes that the time is right to call again for the federal government to create a National Wildlife Area on Transport Canada lands north of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport where forests, fields and wetlands provide exceptional wildlife habitat, including species at risk. Transport Minister Marc Garneau supported the proposal in 2019 and was involved in negotiations to protect part of this area!
It’s really time to act!
Don’t forget that Canada has already lost 90% of its urban wetlands!
A long term vision
Montreal’s environmental community has long sought to create a major protected area in perpetuity – in the heart of the island of Montreal – a protected area of approximately 200 hectares that would include all of the wetlands in the Technoparc and adjacent federal lands. Please refer to the map below.
At stake: The last large wetland and riparian ecosystem on the island of Montreal must remain intact
This unique wetland ecosystem – the wetlands of the Technoparc and adjacent federal lands – is made up of various contiguous natural areas rarely found in such a highly industrialized sector. Its food web, or food chain, is complex and complete, ensuring the long-term viability of the site. From microorganisms to the most evolved species such as mammals and birds, this ecosystem is very healthy and resilient.
An aquifer, the “Des Sources” waters, carries water to the ponds and marshes of the Technoparc and federal lands. It is also the source of three streams: Bertrand Brook flows north to Rivière des Prairies while Denis and Bouchard Creeks flow south to Lake Saint-Louis. All other similar rich riparian systems have been destroyed.
Green Coalition v. City of Montreal et al
In 2016, the Green Coalition initiated a lawsuit against the City of Montreal, under the Coderre administration, to prevent any intrusion into the wetlands of the Technoparc. This lawsuit seeks to conserve the Technoparc’s wilderness areas in perpetuity – its wetlands and natural environments, as well as its habitats, which are home to an abundance of living species, including the largest variety of bird species on the island of Montreal.
The Coalition was defeated in 2016 and new infrastructure has eaten away at the natural environment – thousands of trees have been cut down, a road and a dike have split the wetlands, causing the marshes to dry up and inevitably leading to a sharp decline in the bird population.
New damage in 2020
The Technoparc case went to court in February 2020. The Coalition retained renowned witnesses and presented a solid argument in court. It clearly called for the reinstatement of the damaged marshes. The Honourable Justice Sylvain Lussier of the Superior Court has not yet rendered his verdict. In September 2020, a new road was built in the marshes, supposedly to fill in and destroy the bed of a stream. The fragmentation of these irreplaceable wetlands is deplorable and unacceptable.
Ministers Garneau, Wilkinson and Guilbeault:
We urge you to act now to create a National Wildlife Area and conserve the federally-owned portion of Montreal’s last remaining large wetland ecosystem by fulfilling the commitments in the Speech from the Throne: “… We will do this while protecting a quarter of the country’s land and oceans in five years. To fight climate change, we will also turn to natural solutions, such as planting 2 billion trees. ”
Your boldness and leadership in creating a new National Wildlife Area will inspire and convince our municipal elected officials to ensure that the Technoparc’s natural environments are protected from encroachment in perpetuity and restored.
Two Green Coalition board members, Sylvia Oljemark and Campbell Stuart, who know the file well, hope to meet with you as soon as possible!
Thank you for your attention to this letter. Best regards to Messrs. Garneau, Wilkinson and Guilbeault,
Gareth Richardson, President
Mayor of Montreal
Member of the Executive Committee
Responsible for real estate management and planning, housing, major parks and Parc Jean-Drapeau
Feature image: TechnoparcOiseaux
The Green Coalition is a non-profit association of groups and individuals with a mandate to promote the conservation, protection and restoration of the environment and the wise use of green and blue spaces. Founded in 1988.