A call on Canada to be
a leader on biodiversity

Former Environment Minister, Green Party of Canada and Green Coalition call on Canada to set an example

Montreal, December 15, 2022

“It’s slightly hypocritical to host an international conference on biodiversity while refusing to protect the critical and endangered Technoparc wetlands that delegates flew over as they landed in Montreal,” said Clifford Lincoln, former Quebec Environment Minister and former Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Environment Minister. “Canada cannot claim to be a leader in biodiversity while refusing to protect this natural treasure, located on land it already owns, and which all conference delegates were able to see from the air just like more than 200 species of birds, some threatened, who nest, eat and rest there.”

Mr. Lincoln, who was the head of the Canadian delegation to the 1995 COP2 on biodiversity in Jakarta, said: “At that time, Canada was a world leader in the protection of biodiversity. Canada was the first industrialized country to sign the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. That’s why the Secretariat of this convention is located in Montreal. But 28 years after COP2, Canada is not even able to conserve 215 hectares of unique habitat on the island of Montreal that it already owns.”

According to 20 groups and organizations, the Technoparc wetlands, nestled on federal lands north of the Montreal International Airport, constitute some of the most ecologically rich habitats on the island of Montreal that urgently need to be protected.

Elizabeth May, MP and leader of the Green Party of Canada, joined Mr. Lincoln in supporting the groups’ request and urged the federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault to enact permanent federal protection for these habitats.

“Minister Guilbeault is missing a great opportunity to reassure anyone who might be concerned about his environmental pedigree after his recent approval of new oil projects off Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Ms. May. “The Minister has the authority to declare these federal wetlands protected under the Canada National Parks Act and ensure they are preserved forever. Why doesn’t he do it?”

More than 35 interveners (conservation groups and municipalities in the Montreal metropolitan community), representing a total of more than 4 million people, are now calling for the protection of the Technoparc.

“In the past, Pierre Elliott Trudeau ignored public pleas and expropriated Quebec residents to create a national park on the Gaspé peninsula and an airport north of Montreal. But now that Quebecers are asking for the protection of land already owned by the federal government, located right next to an airport named after him, we are being told that it’s too complicated? Shameful, is what it is,” said Mr. Jonathan Pedneault, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Under the Canada National Parks Act or the Canada Wildlife Act, Minister Guilbeault has the authority to designate federal lands north of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport as either a federal urban park or a national wildlife area.

According to Mr. Lincoln, “Minister Guilbeault needs to listen to his own department, which is telling him to act urgently to halt the alarming loss of biodiversity around the world and turn the tide. He can do this by starting to protect and conserve Technoparc, one of the last natural jewels on the island of Montreal, as requested by conservation groups such as Technoparc Oiseaux, the Green Coalition and the Environmental Legacy Fund.”


Charlie MacLeod, President, Coalition Verte-Green Coalition
514 574 9670

Jonathan Pedneault, Deputy Leader, Green Party of Canada
514 266 9723

Daniel Green, President of the Green Party of Canada Quebec Wing
514 245-4676

Feature image: Patrick Barnard

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