Green is Good

Pierrefonds’ Dirty Little Secret

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Thanks to reporters like the Gazette’s Linda Gyulai the secret behind the Mafia owning Pierrefonds land is out – bet the Mayors didn’t want that one to come out. We also know about illegal and unethical lobbyists. Thanks to Green advocates like Sue Stacho (Sauvons l’Anse-à-l’Orme) and the Legacy Project, citizens are standing up for their rights in the courtroom.

But there is one more little secret that needs to get more attention. The land in question is one giant floodplain. Any poor bastards who are dumb enough to buy a house there will regret it. No matter how much drainage you plan, no matter how many retention basins you dig, your house will have a high probability of being completely flooded. And don’t expect the sump pump to save you.

Just look at what is happening today in Kirkland at the Dog Park to get an idea. Look at the parking lot near the movie theater in Kirkland as well. Do you really think the developer will give a shit about making it safe? And don’t kid yourselves, insurance will not help as insurers are not stupid enough to cover water damage for houses developed on floodplains.

The same problem currently exists in SADB North and will get much worse because the town has capitulated under the fear of being sued and SADB will further destroy green spaces and forests.

 

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Weekend Reading

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We know that with high density development, such as the one in Pierrefonds, the removal of green spaces leads to sharp decreases in property values. Home owners closest to the new construction will take the greatest losses, about 20% or more of their equity.A $400,000 dollar home will lose about $80,000 of its value. We also know that increased population will lead to higher taxes, more crime, and much more traffic. So what other reasons do we have for keeping our green spaces?

Living In Areas With Green Spaces Is Good For Mental Health, Study Finds

Green spaces have lasting positive effect on well-being

Air Pollution’s Impact on Cancer Is “Grossly Underestimated”

Outdoor Air Pollution Causes Cancer Deaths

Green spaces deliver lasting mental health benefits

Homes that are adjacent to naturalistic parks and open spaces are valued at 10-20% higher than comparable properties, with the positive price effect declining to near zero about ½ mile away.

Source

Coderre’s Legacy of Destruction

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Il s’agit de la plus grande destruction de terres agricoles dans la région métropolitaine depuis des décennies. De plus, la construction de plus de près de 6000 unités de logement dans un secteur très mal desservi par le transport en commun ne fera qu’aggraver les problèmes de congestion dans l’Ouest de l’île. Peut-on vraiment imaginer 10 000 nouveaux véhicules sur les autoroutes 20 et 40?

http://projetmontreal.org/communiques/developpement-de-pierrefonds-ouest-la-ville-doit-annuler-le-projet/

Laval Wetlands Destroyed

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The criminals in the municipality of Laval did a wonderful job of destroying wetlands. By criminals we mean the Mayor and company. The difference between Vailancourt and other Mayors in Montreal is simply that he got caught.

Source: LaPresse
Milieu humide: Laval fait fi de Québec

La Ville de Laval et un promoteur proche de l’ancien maire Gilles Vaillancourt ont fait fi d’une demande du ministère de l’Environnement en saccageant un milieu humide d’une grande valeur écologique afin d’y construire un prestigieux domaine où se sont installés les héritiers de la mafia montréalaise.

L’opulence frappe dès qu’on franchit les colonnes romaines et le muret qui bordent l’entrée du nouveau lotissement, à l’ouest de l’autoroute 13, dans le quartier Sainte-Dorothée.

Le domaine est construit en vase clos, avec une entrée unique ouvrant sur une centaine de maisons. En avançant vers la Rivière-des-Prairies, ce sont des manoirs, parfois de véritables châteaux qui se succèdent, certains jouissant d’une vue imprenable sur l’eau. La nuit, lorsque des milliers de lampes illuminent les chic façades lavalloises, celles-ci prennent des airs de contes de fées.
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Climate Change Report Warning

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Climate Change Report Warns of Dramatically Warmer World This Century

Source: World Bank

“A 4°C warmer world can, and must be, avoided – we need to hold warming below 2°C,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest.”

Ste. Anne breaks promise

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Our Mayor and Council were voted in on a green platform? That is too funny! Boy did we get screwed.

Ste. Anne breaks sustainability promise
François Lemieux, The West Island Chronicle

Ste. Anne de Bellevue may have approved a new sustainability plan with great fanfare last month, it already seems as the city is going back on its promise.

“It’s a step backwards. You have to walk the talk. We know now where the council stands.

That’s not a lot considering we are spending money here and there building expensive toilets for $250,000. It’s about the environment and about being consistent with the sustainability plan. It makes no sense,” said Hawa.

Best quote of the day:

Councillor James Anderson later told The Chronicle that even though the council was all for having hybrid cars, the technology is just not cost-effective as we speak for the use of public security in the city. “Every time you turn on a light inside, the flashers or speak on the radio: gas is used.

Gas is used by the radio? OMG. On which planet? That is so sad.

Letter to Daniel Breton

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The letter that follows was sent on September 28th, 2012. It was just forwarded to our attention.

Partenaires du Parc Écologique de l’Archipel de Montréal (PPÉAM)
Plus de cent organismes se sont regroupés en partenariat pour créer le Parc Écologique de l’Archipel de Montréal. Le but de cette démarche collective est de sauvegarder un minimum de 17 % du domaine bioclimatique de l’érablière à caryer cordiforme du Sud-Ouest du Québec. Ce patrimoine naturel est menacé de disparition alors qu’il recèle la plus grande biodiversité au Québec. Le projet de parc vise ce vaste domaine écologique dont la superficie s’étend des Basses-Laurentides jusqu’à la frontière américaine et du Suroît à Sorel. Ce projet d’envergure compte établir une ceinture verte pour Montréal et le Sud-Ouest du Québec – une ceinture verte de forêts, de milieux humides, de terres agricoles, de plaines inondables et d’îles, tous reliés par les corridors verts, les ruisseaux et les grandes rivières qui sillonnent le Québec méridional.

LETTRE OUVERTE AU MINISTRE DANIEL BRETON

FÉLICITATIONS !

Les Partenaires du Parc Écologique de l’Archipel de Montréal (PPÉAM), représentant plus de 100 organisations, dont 17 partenaires municipaux, se dédient à la création d’une ceinture verte pour le Grand Montréal et le Sud-Ouest du Québec. Le PPÉAM tient à vous féliciter pour votre nomination à titre de ministre du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs ainsi que la nomination de M. Scott McKay en tant qu’adjoint parlementaire pour les dossiers de la faune et des parcs.
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Critical point in history

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Time for John Abbott and West Island Students to get involved – to help preserve the wetlands, forests, and fields of Ste. Anne de Bellevue.You don’t have to live here to participate – the lands belong to all Quebecers.

David Suzuki tells students at John Abbott:
We’ve reached critical point in history

Source: The Gazette

Dr. David Suzuki has spoken and the message is grim.

The renowned scientist and environmentalist told a sold-out crowd of 1,600 student and staff at John Abbott College in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Tuesday, that we have reached a critical point in history.

He said that what we do or don’t do in the next years will decide whether we survive as a species.

The lecture was streamed live on the Internet to almost 14,000 students watching at schools in the Lester B. Pearson School Board.

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Land for Rape – Attention JAC Students

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I’m hoping that students at John Abbott College will be inspired by David Suzuki’s speech tomorrow. The map below shows the existing development plans in the North Sector. It also shows the horrific Industrial Park and worst of all it displays the nightmarish plans to develop on our precious green spaces.

This land was public land, it belonged to all Quebecers. It’s not too late to save it. We don’t want to be another Montreal or Laval – let them keep the pavement, concrete, and organized crime. There is nothing in it for the citizens. Only the developers will benefit. We will get higher taxes, traffic, crime, and pollution.

The future belongs to our youth. Let’s hope our students rise to the call when asked. Save the Sainte Anne de Bellevue wetlands and forests.

Click image for Full Size.

Click image for Full Size.

GET INVOLVED TODAY!

Bogus Story of the Week

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Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue ‘condos’ help birds

With the aim of bolstering bird populations, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue is installing several nesting boxes this month. The project, backed by a $2,800 grant from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, includes three multi-unit condominium-style nesting boxes for purple martins on the waterfront, an environment these birds prefer. One purple martin condo will be installed at the eastern end of the boardwalk, another near the lock on Parks Canada property as well as a spot in Godin Park.

Source: The Gazette

This story is a total crock of shit. What a travesty indeed. What total BullShit. The current development plan (PPU) for the North sector of our town calls for the destruction of wetlands, fields, and forests. Birds and mammals such as deer don’t do well when you replace their green environment with asphalt, concrete, and pavement. Add to that tons of traffic to turn the few survivors into roadkill.

So we destroy all the species in the North and to show how eco-friendly we are we throw in a few bird houses in the South? Talk about hypocrisy.

Thankfully the citizens of Ste. Anne de Bellevue know better.

Montréal a la pire congestion sur le continent

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Montreal is one of the most corrupt cities in the world and now Montreal can boast the worst traffic in North America. We all were pretty sure that was the case, now it’s official.

Traffic is generally caused by our never ending construction projects, construction occurs because the work wasn’t done properly originally, and the work wasn’t done properly at the onset because there is more money to be made by redoing a lousy job than in doing it right the first place. Not to mention politicians and the mob getting their 2% – which encourages further construction.

Hard to believe there are still simpletons who think more development on the West Island is a good thing. Didn’t we move to Sainte Anne de Bellevue to avoid traffic? These same morons will accuse us of being tree huggers when all we want is to keep our taxes from increasing and our property values from decreasing – and in doing so we conserve our green spaces.

En fait, Montréal vient d’obtenir la pire cote parmi les principales villes nord-américaines pour la durée des déplacements durant les heures de pointe.

Pire même que des villes à la congestion notoire comme Los Angeles, New York et Toronto, selon le dernier relevé annuel préparé par la firme néerlandaise TomTom, fournisseur d’appareils électroniques de guidage routier.

Selon ce relevé, les déplacements dans la région de Montréal prennent maintenant 40 minutes de plus qu’ils ne devraient par heure de conduite, en période de pointe.

Source: La Presse

David Suzuki’s Green Belt

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The Green Belt from the David Suzuki Foundation.

Les ceintures vertes modernes tendent à promouvoir un développement urbain harmonieux qui protège les milieux naturels, contribue à la qualité de vie des citoyens et au renforcement de l’attractivité des villes.

Read Here.

Dr. David Suzuki’s lecture at John Abbott College

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Lester B. Pearson essay contest winners to attend Dr. David Suzuki’s lecture at John Abbott College

Grade 11 students at Lester B. Pearson’s 12 high schools in the West Island have a contest to win. The prize is a seat at environmental activist Dr. David Suzuki’s lecture at John Abbott College, Oct. 24. Students must write a one-page essay on Suzuki’s lecture topic, The Challenge of the 21st Century: Setting the Real Bottom Line. The deadline for essays is Tuesday. Suzuki will talk about how the human drive to work, win and live big are destroying the planet and how young people should become more engaged in the battle to change those behaviours.

Sort of ironic that they are writing about destroying the planet and that the lecture takes place right here in Sainte Anne De Bellevue. I wonder how many students are even remotely aware of the battle waged by the Citizens of the North Sector to stop development that will mean the end of our precious forests, fields, and wetlands.

It would be incredible if we could get these students mobilized – to join our cause. The lands the IQ sold to developers belonged to all Quebecers – now the fight is to keep the land zoned as an eco-territory – which is in our rights as a municipality. Keeping our community green has many other implications: we keep our taxes from increasing, we keep our property values from decreasing, we maintain our “country living” quality of life, we keep additional traffic, pollution, and crime out. And, as an added bonus, we don’t have to deal with the horrors of the construction industry here.

The latest scandal: the Mayor of Laval being raided today!

Members of opposition party Mouvement Lavallois said they recently met with the Charbonneau commission to discuss the embattled mayor and four allegedly questionable land deals they say were made by Vaillancourt.

The party said it uncovered deals that saw city land bought and then quickly sold for up to five times the amount. Other members of the opposition said the search is related to $20 million in legal contracts that were handed out to one law firm, Lurie reported.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/police-raid-laval-que-mayor-s-home-city-hall-office-1.983779#ixzz28NI9ePBc

David Suzuki Visit

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Environmental activist Dr. David Suzuki will be here in Ste. Anne de Bellevue to lecture at John Abbott College on October 24th.

This is refreshing news after listening to all the horror stories on the depth and breadth of corruption in the construction industry – and how the politicians are just as bad as the criminals.

Makes you wonder if the whole concept of the PMAD was a just a scheme for Montreal politicians to fill their pockets with more mob money.

Une question aux candidats de Jacques-Cartier

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Sounds like Geoff feels we have enough green while Paola is truly concerned about keeping more land green – and let’s face it, there isn’t much green space left on the Island of Montreal.

Une question aux candidats de Jacques-Cartier
Source: Cités Nouvelles

Dans le cadre de la campagne électorale, le journal Cités Nouvelles pose des questions aux candidats de l’Ouest-de-l’Île. Cette semaine, notre question s’adresse aux candidats de Jacques-Cartier:

« Que comptez-vous faire pour protéger les espaces verts dans la circonscription? »
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Les Partenaires du Parc Écologique de l’Archipel de Montréal (PPÉAM)

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Interesting Facebook Page.

Non-Profit Organization
La protection des derniers milieux naturels du domaine bioclimatique de l’Érablière à caryer en une vaste zone de conservation. Protect the last natural habitats of bioclimatic domain Sugar maple hickory in a wide area of conservation.

Importance of Biodiversity

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Yes the fight here is to prevent the loss of our property values, traffic congestion, and higher taxes but it also about preserving green spaces and biodiversity.

The Island of Montreal has less than 7% forest cover, which is below the 30% critical threshold for biodiversity.

Source: Maria Dumitru, Poster Biodiversity. Click here to view document.



Source: Andrew Gonalez, Centre de la Science de la Biodiversité du Québec.
Click here to view document.

Où est le Plan Sud pour la biodiversité du Québec?

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Où est le «Plan Sud» pour la biodiversité du Québec?
Source: Le Devoir
Tanya Handa – Professeure en science de la biodiversité et écologie forestière, Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal; Alain Fréchette – Consultant en environnement, chargé de cours à l’Institut des sciences de l’environnement, Université du Québec à Montréal et Pierre Drapeau – Professeur en biologie de la conservation animale, Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal 3 août 2012 Actualités sur l’environnement
À tous les chefs des partis politiques québécois,

Cette semaine, une lettre ouverte cosignée par 54 professeurs ou chercheurs de dix universités différentes vous a été acheminée. Ces experts en environnement et en écologie demandent un moratoire sur le développement des milieux naturels résiduels dans la vallée du Saint-Laurent pour protéger cette région qui comprend la plus haute biodiversité de la province. Alors que l’attention du Québec se tourne vers le Nord, le regroupement scientifique souhaite rappeler que la biodiversité du Québec est principalement concentrée dans la partie méridionale de la province, là où les pressions de développement sont aussi les plus importantes. Si le Québec souhaite véritablement répondre à ses engagements de sauvegarder la biodiversité, des changements majeurs dans notre façon de gérer et d’occuper le territoire s’imposent, au nord comme au sud.
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Moratorium on development

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Scientists more interested in ‘Plan Sud’
By Michelle Lalonde, GAZETTE environment reporter August 6, 2012

MONTREAL – Dozens of professors and researchers from ten different Quebec universities are calling for a moratorium on development of all remaining forests and wetlands in the St. Lawrence River Valley, at least until a province-wide conservation strategy is in place.

In an open letter to Environment Minister Pierre Arcand and Municipal Affairs Minister Laurent Lessard, the 54 academics outline their concern that natural spaces in the most biologically diverse part of the province are inadequately protected and quickly disappearing.

“As scientists, we are very concerned that there is so little forest cover left in southern Quebec, where the majority of our biodiversity is, so we felt it’s very important to do something to get politicians to address the issue,” during this election campaign, said Tanya Handa, professor of biodiversity science and forest ecology at the Univerité du Québec à Montréal. (Handa co-authored the letter with UQAM colleagues Alain Fréchette and Pierre Drapeau.)

The Liberals are making much of their plan to develop natural resources in the north with the Plan Nord, but Handa said these scientists are more interested in a “Plan Sud” to protect the few remaining natural spaces south of the St. Lawrence River.
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The heat is on

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They make money, get profits, we inherit all the negatives – including heat.

Developers make their profits, politicians do their thing, and citizens inherit the disaster – in this case all the medical risks associated with the overheating that results from deforestation and destruction of green spaces. Concrete gets very hot. You don’t have to be a tree hugger to realize our PPU needs to be stopped.

La chaleur gagne du terrain
Les « îlots de chaleur » se multiplient même au nord et en banlieue
Source: Le Journal de Montréal, Sunday August 5, 2012

La croissance du nombre d’îlots de chaleur urbains inquiète les autorités. Ces zones sans ombre ni verdure où le mercure grimpe au point de représenter une réelle menace pour la santé gagnent du terrain partout dans le monde, y compris au Québec.

Pourquoi il y-t-il plus d’îlots de chaleur urbains?

Coupe d’arbres en milieu urbain au profit de projets immobiliers faits de matériaux qui accumulent la chaleur (asphalte, pierre, brique, béton)
La hausse du nombre de voitures entraîne une hausse du nombre de stationnements et de chaleur émise par les véhicules
Changements climatiques

La chaleur accablante dégagée par les îlots de chaleur urbains fait augmenter le niveau de chaleur du corps, ce qui peut entraîner des malaises et même la mort.

Source: Le Journal de Montréal, Sunday August 5, 2012

No TODs Here

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The PMAD calls for densification in what are called TOD (Transit Oriented Developments). The land to be developed in Sainte-Anne certainly can’t be qualified as a TOD because transit is non-existent here. Then why is our Mayor and council hell bent on high densification? Just to please the developer? PMAD also promises to conserve 17% of the region – fine, let that 17% be in Sainte-Anne because there ain’t no more green spaces elsewhere.

Sorry Mr. Mayor, but we aren’t forced to develop at all.

The Plan métropolitain d’aménagement et de développement, known as PMAD, which was adopted by the MMC, aims to limit urban sprawl, encourage the use of public transit and protect natural spaces in the Montreal region.

The plan calls for high-density housing to be concentrated around transit stations and for 17 per cent of the region’s territory to be protected as green spaces. The plan covers Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, the North Shore and the South Shore, and it was their municipal representatives who approved the plan, following public consultation last fall.

But some conservation groups said last week they worried that green spaces like the Angell Woods in Beaconsfield could end up being developed because they are close to commuter-train stations.

Those fears are unjustified, said François Desrochers of the MMC’s transport and planning department. Protection of natural spaces is an important part of the PMAD, he said. Because it encourages that protection, it is unlikely that the MMC would allow a forest located near a commuter-train station or bus terminal to be developed, he said.

The PMAD “has requirements to protect natural spaces, wetlands, and agricultural lands,” Desrochers said. “If you do decide to encroach a little bit on those lands, it would have to be for a very, very good reason.”

Source: The Gazette. Critics fear loss of green spaces in regional development plan. But West Island residents worry about green space.

See also TOD

PMAD Green Promises

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Residents of Ste. Anne de Bellevue including the Mayor and council should be aware that the PMAD calls for protection of 17% of its territory.

This promise is part of the major policy “A protected, enhanced environment”. This is also the ammunition needed to stop our high densification PPU while staying within the PMAD guidelines. If Ste. Anne de Bellevue doesn’t keep green spaces, who will. Certainly not Pierrefonds-Roxboro.

Click on the image below for full size.

Some cities doing the right thing

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Other cities are avoiding all the problems that come with forced densification by protecting their forests. No traffic congestion, no worries about their property values going down, no increased taxes to pay for all the nonsense. Ste. Anne de Bellevue has to do the same. Our interests as citizens have to come before those of the developers.

Des forêts sur le point d’être protégées
Publié le 30 juin 2012 à 10h53 | Charles Côté, La Presse |

La course entre écologistes et promoteurs immobiliers s’accélère en Montérégie.

Des projets importants de protection de forêts sont sur le point d’être annoncés dans la région, a révélé cette semaine le maire de Montréal et président de la Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), Gérald Tremblay.

Mais le temps presse dans les zones visées par la CMM. De nombreux projets immobiliers sont à l’étude au bureau du ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP) en Montérégie.

Selon M. Tremblay, des gestes de conservation seront annoncés sous peu dans le «corridor vert Châteauguay-Léry et dans le corridor forestier du mont Saint-Bruno».

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Une ceinture verte de 1,7 million d’hectares

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From LaPresse. It seems everyone understands the economic and quality of life benefits of green spaces except Ste. Anne de Bellevue’s council.

Il faut renforcer la protection de milieux naturels sur un vaste territoire s’étendant de Rigaud jusqu’à Trois-Rivières (notre photo), selon la Fondation David Suzuki.

Pour bien protéger la biodiversité dans la région de Montréal, il faut renforcer la protection de milieux naturels sur un vaste territoire s’étendant de Rigaud jusqu’à Trois-Rivières.

C’est ce que propose la Fondation David Suzuki (FDS) dans un rapport écrit dans la foulée des consultations sur le Plan métropolitain d’aménagement et de développement (PMAD).

Dans la version définitive de ce plan, la Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) a fait sienne l’idée d’une «trame verte et bleue» autour de Montréal, une zone où les mesures de protection des milieux naturels et des terres agricoles seraient renforcées.

«La CMM adopte la ceinture verte, mais ne l’a pas dessinée, dit Karel Mayrand, directeur pour le Québec de la Fondation David Suzuki. Ils veulent cinq ou six projets ici et là. Nous, on propose un cadre écologique pour la ceinture verte. C’est basé sur la géologie, mais aussi sur l’histoire naturelle. On veut prendre les endroits qui ont été le plus altérés et les reconnecter avec des grands milieux naturels intacts.»


Read the full article here

Municipalities have the power

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At the May 28th council meeting I remember someone said that development was inevitable – that person was wrong – the law provides for the protection of wetlands, even when a developer has purchased them.

Municipalities have the important powers to protect their natural environment. If exercised within the proper procedures, the exercise of these powers do not constitute “disguised expropriation”

It is therefore possible, strategically, for a municipality to decide that an area within its territory, which is a particularly rich natural environment, is not to be subject to development, simply by not allowing the infrastructure required to serve the area to be built. (art 116 of the Act)
These provisions of a zoning by-law would not be considered disguised expropriation because the legislature specifically permits it.

Why we should protect our woods in Ste. Anne’s

The Government of of Quebec has gone on record as stating that all existing wooded areas currently on the CMM will be destroyed by 2029 if nothing is done to protect them.

As part of the principle of sustainable development, municipalities must rethink the usual mode of land development that promotes the best use of space strictly for development and therefore pure tax revenue generation, as this type of development results in a net loss of wooded areas, wetlands and wildlife habitat It also tends to increase taxes rather than lower them due to ongoing infrastructure costs as experienced by many communities

Source: Protection of natural environments by municipalities: authorities and arguments. By Maitre Jean-François Girard

Read the full story

Perte de biodiversité

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Montréal est en perte de biodiversité

From Le Devoir. Funny how people interpret the PMAD for their own interests and those of the developers.

Le Grand Montréal est en perte de biodiversité. Le reboisement, la Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal et le PMAD. Protéger avant de reboiser

Toujours selon le PMAD, le territoire de la Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal subit une perte d’espaces boisés de 1100 hectares par année. Pour Geneviève Bédard et ses collègues, il importe de protéger ce qui existe maintenant, afin de mettre un frein à ce déclin.