Clifford Lincoln petitions Justin Trudeau to save Monarch Fields

The former environment minister of Quebec calls on the Prime minister of Canada to preserve Montreal’s last large unprotected riverine ecosystem

Montréal, September 2, 2021

The prolonged public consultation on Group Medicom’s plans to construct an industrial plant for the production of medical mask materials on federally-owned lands, known as the Monarch Butterfly Fields ended on August 24. The consultation had been extended by 30 days given citizen interest in this matter.

Monarch Fields, the essential breeding habitat of the iconic Monarch, forms an integral part of Montreal’s last large unprotected ecosystem north of the airport – 215 hectares of rare wildlife habitats – the size of Mount Royal Park. Medicom’s plans have caused a storm of protest – especially because the company has received a grant of $29 million taxpayers dollars from Canada to support the project. The text of the Honourable Clifford Lincoln’s letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau follows below:

September 1, 2021

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington St, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

In June 2021, the Medicom Group was granted $29 M in federal funding to build an industrial plant for the production of medical mask materials on federally controlled lands leased to Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) in Montreal, Quebec.

The proposed site for the Medicom construction is the Monarch Fields, the breeding habitat of the endangered Monarch Butterfly. These Monarch Fields form an integral, biodiverse part of Montreal’s last large, unprotected, marshland and riverine ecosystem – 215 hectares of rare wildlife habitats – the size of Mount Royal Park, north of Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau International Airport. The Medicom project will severely fragment the Monarch Fields and this incursion signals a grave threat to the wildlife and wildspaces of the entire Technoparc/ADM/Golf Dorval sector.

We the undersigned, representing a large number of people living in the Greater Montreal region totally opposed to the construction of an industrial plant on sensitive ecological lands controlled by the federal government, using taxpayers’ funds, are hereby appealing to you once again to stop the destruction of this irreplaceable habitat.

The source of the problem, in short, is a laudable project in the wrong place and with the help of public funds, when more appropriate sites are readily available in adjoining areas. ADM’s mission is to run an airport, and not to become a commercial developer on public land held in trust by the Government of Canada on behalf of all Canadians.

The solution, as already and amply discussed with several members of your Government (with favourable reactions on their part) is to establish permanent protective status on the federal lands north of the airport in order to safeguard them from all development. This would achieve a triple objective: (i) maintaining the logic and necessity of unbuilt public land around the airport complex; (ii) preserving the very last unprotected riverine ecosystem in the Montreal area; and (iii) respecting and exemplifying the commitment made in the Throne Speech of September 23, 2020.

Mr. Prime Minister, a word from you to this effect, and before it is too late, will make all the difference, and you can rest assured it will receive substantial community approval and support.

Yours sincerely,

Clifford Lincoln, Former Environment Minister of Quebec
Benoit Gravel, media representative, Technoparc Oiseaux – 4000 members
Sylvia Oljemark, co-founder, Green Coalition – more than eighty citizen groups dedicated to the protection of the environment

Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport
Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources
Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Yves-François Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Québécois
Annamie Paul, Leader of the Green Party of Canada
Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the New Democratic Party
Honourable Erin O’Toole, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

For more information:
David Fletcher: / 514 502-5341
Patrick Barnard: / 514 463-0573

Interviews with Clifford Lincoln by appointment.
Liaison: Sylvia Oljemark 514 332-9146 /

Feature image: © Katherine Collin, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC)

Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.caRead other articles about the Monarch Fields

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There are 3 comments

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  1. Joan Sargent

    Totally agree with Clifford Lincoln. A commitment to green spaces, species preservation, protected zones should mean just that, not ignore these promises for another building site

  2. Anne Streeter

    What more can it possibly take for Justin Trudeau to do the right thing here! It is so important and it is so easy. It only takes one stroke of his pen! If he can’t do this simple thing then it is impossible to take him seriously when it comes to environmental issues!

  3. Georges Dupras

    Our governments are great at playing to an audience and knowing what the people care about. When it comes to actually putting into practice what they preach, then they are somewhat less than credible.

    I’m afraid that old belief that money talks is still alive and well. The mindset that promotes the economic belief that a forest only has value when it has been cut down still permeates our political ranks.

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