Towns get more clout to de­fend wa­ter­ways

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

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.

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