Dear Supporters of the Legacy Fund for the Environment,
Though things may have seemed quiet since August, 2019, when Mayor Valerie Plante announced le Grand parc de l’Ouest in the L’Anse-à-l’Orme Corridor and last February when the court case was heard concerning Technoparc (the ruling is not yet out), the Legacy Fund has been hard at work. We have been applying to Foundations for funding to hire staff (everything we do now is done by volunteers) and to cover legal costs and yes, we have succeeded. (Yay! Yay!) We have taken on three new cases, and are investigating others both on and off the Island. We have also broadened our reach, by connected with major student leaders on university campuses and those in the indigenous communities. We are now on social media! Give us a follow on facebook!
What we are seeing is an amazing number of citizen groups seeking our support to save their natural spaces. We have a plan to help them. But first, recall from where we have come:
In 2015 we funded and supervised a court case against Montreal, developers and the CPTAQ (the agricultural land protection commission) over zoning irregularities and the landfilling of wetlands in the L’Anse-à-l’Orme Corridor in Pierrefonds-Roxboro. Together with the tremendous efforts of the group, Sauvons L’Anse-à-l’Orme, and many concerned citizens, we succeeded in slowing down the development and putting an intense spotlight on this most ecologically valuable area. So intense, that Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced on August 8, 2019 that the contested area would become part of the largest urban park in Canada, le Grand parc de l’Ouest.
Recall the situation at the Montreal Technoparc in Ville St-Laurent and the amazing array of biodiversity which Joël Coutu and the group, TechnoparcOiseaux, brought to our attention. Remember the numerous tours that Joël and his group conducted, the meticulous recordings of avian sightings on “ebird”, and the many publicity events, events that announced to the world that this number one birding spot on the Island of Montreal had to be protected.
It was the Green Coalition (funded and supervised by the Legacy Fund) which took the Ministry of the Environment to court contesting the adequacy of the environmental assessments on which the authorizations for development in the area were based. While we await the judgment, we have already achieved significant precedents. First, the judge agreed to examine the sufficiency of environmental studies submitted by the promoters in order to obtain a Certificate of Authorization from the ministry and secondly, the judge agreed to examine the validity of the internal decision-making process of the ministry itself.
Amazing admissions from the Ministry
The lawyer for the Green Coalition also gained some amazing admissions from the Ministry in the course of these hearings. For one, they never refuse a developer’s request for a Certificate of Authorization! More information on their other admissions and the online conference we held on the subject can be found on our news page.
We are seeing the same patterns in the cases we are currently pursuing in Laval, the Island of Montreal, the South Shore, in Hudson and beyond. Our natural spaces are being destroyed through what we perceive as a laxness in the awarding of Certificates of Authorization. We will pursue these cases through the courts until these destructions cease and these areas are preserved. Would you help us by providing the financial support we need to do the job?
Donations can be made by sending a cheque, payable to the Legacy Fund for the Environment, to:
Legacy Fund for the Environment
2075 boul. Robert-Bourassa, Suite 600
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2L1
or online through CanadaHelps by visiting our donation page.
The Legacy Fund provides a charitable receipt for income tax purposes for every donation. Thank you.
President, The Legacy Fund for the Environment