The Federal MP representing Châteauguay-Lacolle Brenda Shanahan says she has been approached by many citizens who would like the federal government to intervene in the Châteauguay-Léry woodland file. While the matter does not fall under federal jurisdiction, the elected official will support the initiative to acquire funding to purchase the land.
“Issues pertaining to land planning do not fall under the federal government’s purview, but if we are able to help with financial support I will make every effort to ensure that we can collectively protect this exceptional forestry ecosystem,” commented Ms. Shanahan in a press release.
Questioned about whether there were specific federal programs that would allow for the land to be acquired for conservation purposes, the federal MP responded that there weren’t specific programs for the conservation and preservation of natural environments.
“However, the government is in pre-budget consultations, therefore it is an opportune time to share citizens’ environmental concerns in order to devote additional financial resources to them. It is the MP’s role to defend citizens’ aspirations, rather than anticipate them,” she specified.
At the end of the month of January, the MRC de Roussillon solicited the federal and provincial governments as well as the Montreal Metropolitan Community for financial contributions towards the acquisition of land with the aim of creating a protected area.
The lots in question belong to private owners who are demanding close to $50M from the MRC as well as the municipalities of Châteauguay and Léry, claiming that they are being subjected to “veiled expropriation”.
Over the past few months the MRC de Roussillon held a consultation on draft regulation 215, which aims to ease construction regulations in the affected zone. During the consultation close to 700 individuals and organizations spoke in favour of the complete protection of the wooded area. The council of mayors intends to adopt a modified version of draft regulation 215 at its next meeting. Until then, it is counting on a comprehensive popular effort to preserve the wooded area that is known for its rich flora and fauna.
(Translation Amanda Bennett)