Author Archives: espacesvertsilebizard

Major news for the West Island’s green spaces

On this 8th day of August 2019, Montreal’s mayor Valérie Plante announced the creation of the largest urban park in Canada, in the West Island of Montreal :

This park spreads over 30 square kilometers, taking a large chunk of the tip of the island as well as most of L’Île-Bizard!! (See map below) Therefore, L’Île-Bizard’s farm lands will be protected and cared for ad vitam aeternam, in addition to being protected by the Paysage humanisé status, which we are hoping to be obtained. The citizens of L’Île-Bizard do not have to worry any more about the 440 right-of-way and the ghost of the highway project going through L’Île-Bizard hanging over our heads like a Damocles sword for 40 years.

This is great news for biodiversity in L’Île-Bizard and in the West Island, as well as for the Montrealer’s quality of life! The only thing left to do now is to make sure things are done the right way, and that recreotourism is not done at the expense of the fauna and flora living in the park.
Let’s stay watchful! But happy! 😉

Leslie Eric Murphy (NPDQ) about environmental issues in L’Île-Bizard

Leslie Eric Murphy, NPDQ

QUESTIONS asked by the APEVIB to the five candidates:

As the MP for Nelligan,

Are you ready to do everything in your power to support and accelerate the attribution of the Paysage humanisé status for the farm lands of L’Île-Bizard, which is currently under study at the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la lutte contre les changements climatiques?

Yes. Île-Bizard is unique in the Montreal area. It has 3 rivers that flow by it; it has forests, wetlands and marshes, incredible bio-diversity, and active farming. It also has such a rich history dating back centuries. The NPDQ believes that governmental powers should be pushed down to the level of government closest to the people and spaces affected. Then those bodies should receive the full support of the provincial government. This is an example where that would be applied.

Are you ready to alienate the 440 right-of-way in L’Île-Bizard, which belongs to the ministère des Transports du Québec, in order for the green spaces (parks and farm lands) that make it up to be protected, per example with a land trust or a national park?

I’m sorry to not be familiar enough with this issue to be able to comment.

Are you ready to support, financially or otherwise, the acquisition of land that holds ecological value in L’Île-Bizard in order to protect it (either with a land trust or any other way)?

Yes. The NPDQ believes, though, that there must be support, buy-in, and participation at all levels of government and with community stakeholders.

Are you ready to support, financially and otherwise, the creation of ecological flower beds on the former L’Île-Bizard bridge once the new one will be built, where bee and butterfly friendly plants would grow and to which would be attached a sign explaining some of the ecological features of L’Île-Bizard?

What an interesting idea. Yes, the NDPQ would support a green initiative like that. Like many other issues around climate change, we believe that the time to act to save pollinators is now. On a personal note, I would like to see many of our neighbourhood green-spaces convert lawns to wildflower beds too.

Globally, how do you intend to protect the green spaces in the Nelligan constituency, known for their rich biodiversity, their ecological value and the environmental services they render, like reducing greenhouse gases, slowing down erosion and absorbing flood waters?

The NPDQ is actively involved with groups seeking to preserve and protect existing green spaces and resident species at the Technoparc and l’Anse-à-l’Orme.

Research shows that wetlands, ponds, and marshes help mitigate flooding by absorbing water when rivers are high. Additional green spaces around our rivers would also serve as parks and public spaces for families.

The NPDQ would like public consultation to consider managed retreat in some flood zones. This is a controversial idea and so must be done in consultation with existing governments and residents. Those areas would also add to our permanent, protected green spaces.

Giuseppe Cammarrota (Parti vert) about environmental issues in L’Île-Bizard

Giuseppe Cammarrota, Parti vert

“I’d like to answer all your questions at once:

Yes. If I were to be elected, I’m prepared and willing to do everything within my power to protect the green spaces on Ile Bizard from deforestation and development. There are several methods worth exploring in order to protect these spaces and support projects such as the ecological flowering of the (future) old bridge. The most efficient way to move forward on such projects (as well as aiding with flood prevention) in a symbiotic and self-sustaining manner would be through the adoption of permaculture. 

Even if I don’t get elected, I stand with you.”

QUESTIONS asked by the APEVIB to the five candidates:

As the MP for Nelligan,

  • Are you ready to do everything in your power to support and accelerate the attribution of the Paysage humanisé status for the farm lands of L’Île-Bizard, which is currently under study at the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la lutte contre les changements climatiques?
  • Are you ready to alienate the 440 right-of-way in L’Île-Bizard, which belongs to the ministère des Transports du Québec, in order for the green spaces (parks and farm lands) that make it up to be protected, per example with a land trust or a national park?
  • Are you ready to support, financially or otherwise, the acquisition of land that holds ecological value in L’Île-Bizard in order to protect it (either with a land trust or any other way)?
  • Are you ready to support, financially and otherwise, the creation of ecological flower beds on the former L’Île-Bizard bridge once the new one will be built, where bee and butterfly friendly plants would grow and to which would be attached a sign explaining some of the ecological features of L’Île-Bizard?
  • Globally, how do you intend to protect the green spaces in the Nelligan constituency, known for their rich biodiversity, their ecological value and the environmental services they render, like reducing greenhouse gases, slowing down erosion and absorbing flood waters?

Chantal Legendre (Parti québécois) about environmental issues in L’Île-Bizard

CHANTAL LEGENDRE, PARTI QUÉBÉCOIS

QUESTIONS asked by the APEVIB to the five candidates:

As the MP for Nelligan,

Are you ready to do everything in your power to support and accelerate the attribution of the Paysage humanisé status for the farm lands of L’Île-Bizard, which is currently under study at the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la lutte contre les changements climatiques?

The Parti québécois is making the green shift and cares about land use planning. With the PQ, agriculture always went forward in Quebec. The Liberals neglected to assert the province’s powers with regards to environmental issues and established new rules for the nomination of the BAPE commissioners that do not guarantee their independence. The Parti québécois will adopt a new law that will assert the primacy of Québec’s powers with regards to environmental issues, including affirming our exclusive power to assess any project in the province, and will guarantee the political independence of the BAPE commissioners.

Are you ready to alienate the 440 right-of-way in L’Île-Bizard, which belongs to the ministère des Transports du Québec, in order for the green spaces (parks and farm lands) that make it up to be protected, per example with a land trust or a national park?

A greener Quebec calls for a continuous and organized commitment from the entire governmental apparatus. A government led by the Parti québécois will consider land use and urbanism like priorities. We will adopt a national policy which will include measures for land-use planning in our communities that are compatible with the fight against the climate crisis. We will protect biodiversity by designating 17% of the land and 10% of the waters and coasts as protected areas from now until 2020, in line with Québec’s international commitments with regards to the protection of biodiversity.

Are you ready to support, financially or otherwise, the acquisition of land that holds ecological value in L’Île-Bizard in order to protect it (either with a land trust or any other way)?

A government led by the Parti québécois will be committed to adopt a national policy pertaining to the use of the province’s territory, thus asserting that urbanism and land-use in communities are priorities. These measures are necessary and an integral part of the fight against climate change. As an MP, such a project would surely be a priority. In conjunction with the other authorities concerned, I will make sure to preserve and maintain the lands and green spaces with ecological value, and to keep the quality of life of the citizens of L’Île-Bizard.

Are you ready to support, financially and otherwise, the creation of ecological flower beds on the former L’Île-Bizard bridge once the new one will be built, where bee and butterfly friendly plants would grow and to which would be attached a sign explaining some of the ecological features of L’Île-Bizard?

As an MP for the Parti québécois in Nelligan, with the view of a greener Quebec and an interest for land use and urban planning, I will certainly gather all relevant stakeholders for the assessment and potential realization of such a project. Therefore, the MP for the PQ in Nelligan would follow this case closely, and commit to it in a more concrete manner if necessary.

Globally, how do you intend to protect the green spaces in the Nelligan constituency, known for their rich biodiversity, their ecological value and the environmental services they render, like reducing greenhouse gases, slowing down erosion and absorbing flood waters?

A government led by the Parti québécois will consider the fight against climate change a real priority for the state. Our commitment is based on seven important pillars: reforming environmental stewardship, changing the way Quebecers move around, establishing green buildings, increase investments into a greener economic growth et exit from fossil fuels. More specifically for Nelligan, we will take into consideration the risk of floods when planning for land-use and urbanism, protection of natural environments and improving knowledge about flood risk areas.

2017 Floods: How it happened and why, and can we protect ourselves better?

Conference

When: February 27th, 7:00 pm

Where: 490 de L’Église Street, in L’Île-Bizard

Summary of the presentation

**Whispered translation into English will be available upon request**

In general, we can see a significant increase of weather or climate disasters since the 1960’s in Canada and worldwide. From 1980 to 2015, the number of natural catastrophies was multiplied by three on a global scale in a context of rapid and pronounced increases of temperature. Moreover, in Canada, the temperature warming has been more than double the global tendency observed since the 1950’s, and in the north of Canada and Quebec, it is three times higher than the global average. Over the past 25 years in Quebec only, we have had over 30 catastrophic floods (that is more than one per year).

This presentation will go over the 2017 spring floods, explaining the context in which they occurred and the global picture of the climate changes happening right now, in particular in Québec, as well as the known links between the floods and climate change. This will allow us to analyze the contributing factors, and how they can evolve and eventually generate more risks of major floods in the future, as the warming continues. In conclusion, the presentation will address realistic strategies in terms of prevention, preparation, intervention and recovery or rebuilding after the major damages incurred following the floods.

Presentators : Ursule Boyer-Villemaire et Philippe Gachon

BIOGRAPHY of the presentators

Ursule Boyer-Villemaire (PhD)

Ursule Boyer-Villemaire has a bachelor’s degree in physical geography, a master’s degree in oceanography and a PhD in environmental sciences. She is a consultant and independent researcher in environment on risk management and adaptation to climate change. She offers guidance and training to municipalities, certain ministries and individuals. She specializes in particular on the vulnerability of coastal communities in the face of climate change impact, from a geomorphological perspective as well as from the perspective of the communities’ capacity to adapt. She participated in the analysis of coastal adaptation options and the development of public policies and public security programs. She created the portal Surveillance Côtière Québec in order to contribute to citizens’ science. She worked with the municipality of Rigaud and its residents following the 2017 floods (per example, by offering options to prevent, adapt and plan).

Philippe Gachon (PhD)

Philippe Gachon teaches hydro-climatology at the department of geography and is a researcher at the ESCER centre (Étude et Simulation du Climat à l’Échelle Régionale) at UQAM, as well as the research chair on hydro-meteorological risks related to climate change. Mr. Gachon obtained his PhD in 1999 in Environment sciences at UQAM and did a post-doctorial internship at the Institut Maurice-Lamontagne (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) between 1999 and 2002. From 2003 to 2014, Mr. Gachon was a scientific researcher at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, where he analyzed storms and extreme climate events, and developed regional climate scenarios and evaluated disaster risks related to climate change.

Facebook Event to share! : https://www.facebook.com/events/2054118621526186/

 

Second anniversary of the protection of the Petty land

On November 19th, 2015, the Service des grands parcs of the City of Montreal announced the acquisition of 4 million square feet of green space, located on chemin Bord-du-Lac in Île-Bizard. The land was then attached to the parc-nature du Bois-de-L’Île-Bizard and therefore protected from housing developments that threatened to destroy it. Thank you to the Marinacci administration, as well as to all the people who supported the APEVIB in its campaign to save the space. Two years later exactly, the first snow of the season falls on this beautiful prosperous land. A first trail has been set-up to allow for people to snowshoe on this land : a snowshoe trail has been marked and can be accessed from the main entrance of the parc going towards the big marsh (take the first path on your left).

http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=5798,42657625&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&id=25989

Act 122 : why it is more important than ever to vote at these municipal elections

What is Act 122?

This year, more than ever, it is of utmost importance to vote at the municipal elections, and to do it in a careful and informed way, because a new law was passed at the National Assembly, Act 122 which increases municipal powers considerably and reduces as much the power that the citizens have, in particular with regards to land use and governance. Indeed, since June 15, 2017, municipal democracy is not what it used to be when we had the last municipal elections in 2013.

According to its designation, this law is an Act “mainly to recognize that municipalities are local governments and to increase their autonomy and powers”

But it seems that it is also aimed at neutralizing citizens’ opposition. When explaining the necessity of this new act, Martin Coiteux, minister of municipal affairs, said that the previous system was based on the possibility to oppose projects and called for opposition, instead of inviting citizens to look into what would be the best project for the community.

(http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/501458/referendums-municipaux-le-projet-de-loi-finalement-adopte)

Among other things, Act 122:

  • increases municipal powers with regards to urbanism and zoning;
  • says that municipalities are not obligated to hold a referendum to get public approval on decisions related to urban planning if they have a policy for citizen participation that meets the requirements of ministerial regulation (regulation which has not yet been established);
  • increases to $100,000 the authorized cap for the direct award of public contracts (without going through a tender process);
  • removes the obligation to publish public notices in local newspapers;
  • allows the government to authorize by by-law the use of farm lands for other purposes than agriculture, without going through the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec (CPTAQ) (clause 185);
  • amends the Loi sur la protection du territoire et des activités agricoles in order to relax the rules to allow residential construction in agricultural zones. These modifications are aimed at accelerating the treatment of certain requests and change the analysis criteria that the CPTAQ has to take into consideration.

One consequence of the last item listed is that small municipalities will be able to authorize construction of residences or the installation of industries in green zones. Indeed, the municipalities are exempted of paragraph 61.1 of the Loi sur la protection du territoire et des activités agricoles which allows the CPTAQ to reject any request to use a land for other purposes than agriculture, based on the fact that other more appropriate spaces – so called white zones – exist elsewhere in the municipality. (http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/490091/agriculture-quebec-veut-se-passer-de-l-avis-de-la-cptaq)

The various measures encompassed in Act 122 increase the risk of connivance and corruption. Moreover, municipalities are not obligated to have a public consultation policy, and the mechanisms they will chose to incorporate to their policy will not necessarily be legally restrictive.

This summary was based on the Act itself:

http://www2.publicationsduquebec.gouv.qc.ca/dynamicSearch/telecharge.php?type=5&file=2017C13A.PDF

 

Other references:

www.lapresse.ca/le-soleil/actualites/politique/201706/15/01-51080

https://www.lesoleil.com/actualite/politique/adoption-du-projet-de-loi-122-les-maires-obtiennent-plus-de-pouvoirs-c7f3d6cf720f4b513ef1f8010ed4d3dd

http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2017/02/23/lumq-veut-labolition-totale-des-referendums-dans-les-municipalites

http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/villes-et-regions/501649/projet-de-loi-122-faire-des-municipalites-de-veritables-gouvernements-de-proximite

http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1040536/oubli-projet-loi-122-droit-exproprier-proprietaires-immeubles-maire-quebec-regis-labeaume-gouvernements-proximite

Some information about L’Île-Bizard, a green island…

Here is some information about L’Île-Bizard’s green spaces that reminds us how important it is to protect them…

L’Île-Bizard is a green island! Fortunately, despite the housing developments of these past 50 years which quadrupled the island’s population, L’Île-Bizard is an ecological gem unique in Montreal which fosters an extremely rich biodiversity. We want it to stay that way, for the good of today’s population and future generations!

Some numbers…

The island covers a surface area of 2277 hectares (22.7 km), 1087 of which (48%) are farm lands located in the Western part of the island. L’Île-Bizard has three great golf clubs, totalling 617 hectares (27 % of the island), 457 of which are zoned agricultural. They are also located on the Western side, on the Elm Ridge and Royal Montreal golf clubs covered by the humanized landscape project (Paysage humanisé – see next post). The nature park spreads over 255 hectares, occupying 11 % of the island.

Ecological characteristics of the island…

L’Île-Bizard’s territory is characterized by a network of important wet lands (marshes and swamps) connected through waterways and mature forests. These green spaces are home to many rare plants and constitute a habitat of major interest for amphibians and reptiles, as well as the waterfowl and forest birds. Many vulnerable or threatened species can be found on the island, like the black maple, the map turtle, the brown and the king snakes, the red shouldered and Cooper’s hawks and the waterfowl bird. Also in the Western part of the island we find the greatest concentration of riparian wetlands in the Montreal agglomeration. These are home to birds of prey, whitetail deers and birds like the bobolink, the Eastern meadowlark and the blue rock thrush, which are becoming scarcer in the Montreal region because of a loss of habitat.

A dozen plant species there are considered potentially threatened or vulnerable, like the swamp white oak, the oval hickory, the Columbia watermeal, Goldie’s woodfern and the Bur-reed Sedge. The northern part of the nature park is made up of large wild lands that are feeding areas for birds of prey, with neighboring cedar groves used by the whitetail deers in the winter. The southern part of the park is dominated by sugar maple ecosystems that are over a hundred years old and where we can find five rare plant species. These maples are protecting the wetlands of the nature park. These forests can be used by two rare birds of prey considered to be precarious: the red shouldered and Cooper’s hawks. The black maple grove in the north-western part of the park is extremely rare in Montreal, and not very common in the province. It has been designated an exceptional forest ecosystem (EFE) by the Natural Resources ministry. We count up to seven precarious plant species in that area.

 

 

MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS 2017

The municipal elections will take place in less than 2 weeks, on November 5th! In the meantime, the APEVIB will publish information about the borough’s environmental issues and the mayoral candidates on its Facebook group.

Check out our posts here : https://www.facebook.com/groups/1487049068224202/

If you do not have access to Facebook, but would like to receive this information, please let us know by sending us an email at : espacesverts.ilebizard@gmail.com.

Enjoy the readings and the rest of the campaign!

Interviews with the mayoral candidates in L’Île-Bizard-Sainte-Geneviève

The APEVIB is proud to send you this video presenting the three mayoral candidates in L’Île-Bizard-Sainte-Geneviève who are answering questions regarding environmental issues in L’Île-Bizard.

Please, share this video widely!

Municipal elections are very important! These elected officials are our closest representatives and can have a great impact on our living environment, in particular with regards to the green spaces. We hope that this will help voters make an informed choice on November 5th.

Also check out our Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1487049068224202), because we will regularly publish information about L’Île-Bizard and its green spaces, municipal politics and mayoral candidates. If you do not have a Facebook account, please let us know so we can send you the information by email.

Thank you for your participation and have a great campaign everyone!