virginia-rail-and-downy-chick_westmountmag

Scandal at the Quebec
Ministry of Environment

The Green Coalition calls for a public inquiry

Montreal, February 14, 2020

In a stunning development, Quebec’s Ministry of the Environment has admitted in open court that it has never refused a developer’s request for a Certificate of Authorization. Never!

This admission was made during the Green Coalition’s injunction proceedings to stop the destruction of the Technoparc wetlands. These marshes are home to the largest variety and density of birds on the Island of Montréal and are near the top of the list for the whole province.

The Ministry of the Environment issued Certificates of Authorization permitting development on Technoparc based on bird counts conducted by the developer in the dead of winter, when numbers and varieties are at the lowest possible ebb. The Ministry did not require any other studies, and even tried to keep these ones secret.

Technoparc Herons - WestmountMag.ca

Petit-marais Hubert Reeves – Image: Hubert Gendron

The Ministry’s admission reveals a terrible scandal at the heart of our environmental protection bureaucracy. We now know that it works for developers, not for the environment and not for the public.

The Green Coalition demands an immediate public investigation into the Ministry’s procedures for issuing Certificates of Authorization, including a review of the validity of all Certificates already issued and an immediate moratorium on the issuance of new Certificates until the inquiry is finished and the procedures are corrected.

The court hearings on the Green Coalition’s injunction concluded today and the case now awaits judgment. There is still time for the City of Montréal and the Minister of the Environment to do the right thing. The Green Coalition calls on the City to abandon the Technoparc development and reverse the damage already done, and calls on the Minister to rescind the Certificates of Authorization already issued to the developers.

For more information contact Campbell Stuart at 514 927-7802 (cell)

Feature image: Virginia Rail and downy chick, by Ilana Block

Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.caRead other articles about the Technoparc Wetlands


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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.

 


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There are 8 comments

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  1. Patrick Barnard

    Great pictures by Hubert Gendron and Ilana Block! The Green Coalition is taking a very strong stand for all of us — with this legal action and with the call for a public inquiry. Please support the Coalition and the Legacy Fund for the Environment which is financing this legal case.

  2. Peter Graham

    I find this news so disturbing. It does not seem as though we have come very far from the days when husbands or brothers would turn their wives or sisters over to the inquisitors to be tortured to death. Are we doing the same to the habitats that keep our economic system going today? What kind of ideological blindness does it take to make this seem okay?

  3. Al Hayek

    The global organization, Local Governments for Sustainability, of which Montreal is a member, has stated that at the current rate of biodiversity loss half of all species on earth will be extinct in 100 years.

    How could the Quebec Ministry of the Environment not have taken this fact into consideration, when they issued certificates of authorization to build on the premier birding wetlands and habitat on the Island of Montreal.

    Indeed, the Quebec Ministry of the Environment must cease to award certificates of authorizations until they can show themselves responsible custodians of our environment.

  4. Anne Streeter

    Kudos to the Green Coalition for exposing this situation. This definitely is a scandal! Shame on Quebec for not doing the right thing on this file. The environment is uppermost in many people’s minds. Unless we move quickly to turn things around we will be in deep trouble.

  5. Neil Whitehouse

    Half a million people marched expressing their wish for the environment to be respected, while the Ministry of Environment is doing anything but that. Things have to be done differently.

  6. Joan Sargent

    This is appalling news. I cannot find words to express my disappointment with the Quebec Dept of the environment. How can we ever trust them again?

  7. Georges R. Dupras

    Are any of us really surprised? Should we be?

    Years ago when the Government of Quebec wanted to allow the use of dogs in the hunting of black bears (Sherbrooke region), I spoke with my contact, at that time, within the Ministry of Natural Resources about this proposal. I was assured that not one government biologist within “Gestion de la Grand Faune” was in favor. The Government went ahead regardless, insisting in was only a test. Today Premier Ford has re-introduced the spring bear hunt against all advice, and Mr. Trump junior is off to hunt grizzly in what use to be a restricted area. So why are we surprised?

  8. Joan Sargent

    We are surprised George Dupras because we hope that leadership from people like you and Anne Streeter and many others is making a difference in our local attitudes to the environment and the other mammals that share it with us. This is so, so disappointing.


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