Towns get more clout to defend waterways
In recent years, local municipalities have adopted by-laws requiring river and lakeside landowners to naturalize their shorelines by planting certain shrubs and trees. On June 21, 2011, the Quebec Appeals Court rendered a judgement in the Wallot vs City of Quebec case, validating the by-law of the City of Quebec which concerned the renaturalization of the shores of Lac St. Charles.
In its judgement the Court declared: “on April 19th, 2006, the government of Quebec adopted the Loi sur le developpement durable. This law obliges public administrations…to not compromise future generations. More precisely, the law foresees that the protection of the environment is part of the process of sustainable development and that human activities must be respectful in a way that supports the ecosystems… (translation).”
This provision gives more authority to municipalities when it comes to environmental issues that do not fall under the Loi sur la qualité de l’environnement or its regulations. Towns will no longer need to get approval from the Ministere du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs to bring municipal bylaws into force.