First phase of Eco-Cam­pus un­der­way at Tech­no­parc

Les Nouvelles Saint-Laurent - - LA UNE - Sa­ra.king-aba­di@tc.tc

CONSER­VA­TION. A row of ducks sat on a log in the Pe­tit Ma­rais Hu­bert Reeves on Wed­nes­day, sus­pen­ded over a foot or two of mur­ky wa­ter while the in­ter­mit­tent sounds of ma­chi­ne­ry pier­ced through the thick gree­ne­ry in Saint-Laurent’s Tech­no­parc.

Construc­tion on an ex­ten­sion of Al­fredNo­bel Blvd. and a le­vee be­gan on Mon­day, while conser­va­tio­nists and fe­de­ral and pro­vin­cial Green Par­ty re­pre­sen­ta­tives are cal­ling on the re­search centre to res­pect a 500-metre bor­der in or­der to pro­tect the ha­bi­tat of the en­dan­ge­red Least Bit­tern, Ca­na­da’s smal­lest he­ron.

The ex­ten­sion and a le­vee to main­tain wa­ter le­vels in the wet­lands—that will al­so serve as a walk­way—are the first steps in the Eco-Cam­pus Hu­bert Reeves de­ve­lop­ment, a clean­tech re­search centre. The first building of five is set for construc­tion in spring 2017.

Tech­no­parc Mon­treal has en­lis­ted en­vi­ron­men­tal re­search firm Groupe He­mis­pheres to consult on the de­ve­lop­ment through each phase.

“There is a spe­cies at risk wi­thin 500-m,” said Don Ho­bus of Sier­ra Club Que­bec. The Least Bit­tern has been spot­ted at the des Sources marsh on ad­ja­cent land ow­ned by Ae­ro­ports de Mon­treal (ADM).

Sier­ra Club Que­bec sent lawyer’s let­ters to both pro­vin­cial and fe­de­ral go­vern­ments last week as­king for in­ter­ven­tion. The group has not yet heard a res­ponse, but un­ders­tands these things take time. Ho­bus said that even­tual­ly fi­ling an in­junc­tion to halt the de­ve­lop­ment is a “real pos­si­bi­li­ty.”

DOUBLE TROUBLE

The fu­ture Re­seau Elec­trique Me­tro­po­li­tain (REM) is ano­ther concern for the eco-ter­ri­to­ry. “The fe­de­ral go­vern­ment should act dou­bly to pro­tect ADM space,” said Da­niel Green of the Green Par­ty of Ca­na­da. “This sec­tor is al­so being threa­te­ned by the REM.”

Ori­gi­nal plans for the pro­po­sed light rail tran­sit had the train en­te­ring the Tech­no­parc in a cut-and-co­ver tun­nel using the Al­fred-No­bel Blvd. ex­ten­sion close to a wet­land. The plan has since been chan­ged to be un­der­ground be­fore Alexan­der Fle­ming St. to mi­ni­mize im­pact on the marsh. The plan is still being re­vie­wed.

Que­becOi­seaux, a non-pro­fit for the stu­dy, ob­ser­va­tion and pro­tec­tion of Que­bec birds, re­spon­ded to the com­mo­tion sur­roun­ding the eco- cam­pus de­ve­lop­ment through a let­ter pos­ted on­line wi­shing “more ri­gour in the in­for­ma­tion cir­cu­la­ting concer­ning the pro­ject and the ar­gu­ments made by the different in­ter­ve­ners.”

Science comes first for Oi­seauxQue­bec, wrote di­rec­tor ge­ne­ral Jean- Sé­bas­tien Gué­nette, who met with a bio­lo­gist from the ci­ty about the pro­ject in Ju­ly. “Ra­ther than opt for confron­ta­tion, we choose to use this cre­di­bi­li­ty and lis­te­ning to dis­cuss with the Ci­ty of Mon­treal and Tech­no­parc to en­sure that the na­tu­ral ele­ments present in this sec­tor . . . are conser­ved in the fu­ture parc- na­ture des Sources.”

In the co­ming months the Tech­no­parc plans to cede 10 hec­tares of land to the Ci­ty of Mon­treal that will be pro­tec­ted and be­come part of the na­ture park.

Oi­seauxQue­bec al­so wrote that they will keep an eye on plans for a big­ger pro­blem—the fu­ture Re­seau Elec­trique Me­tro­po­li­tain.

(Pho­to: TC Me­dia – De­nis Germain)

Construc­tion on an ex­ten­sion of Al­fred- No­bel Blvd. in Saint-Laurent’s Tech­no­parc be­gan on Mon­day.

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