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OUR ACTIVITIES

Last updated on May 10th, 2022. 

Here is a selection of some of our activities with our citizen partners:

 

  • Sauvons l’Anse-à-l’Orme: We funded three injunctions, two biodiversity studies and a fiscal analysis in defence of the wetlands, forests and the Kestrel Fields of the l’Anse-à-l’Orme corridor on the west island of Montreal.  Due to these efforts and the activities of our partner and others, Montreal has announced the creation of the Grand Parc de l’Ouest.

  • Les Amis des milieux naturels de Laval: We funded legal research for this citizens’ group and, as result of our partner’s efforts, the Municipal Council of Laval has put a two-year reserve on twelve hectares of ecologically valuable land including five hectares of wetlands south of Blvd. St-Elzéar West in Chomedy, Laval with the intention to create a park.

  • Rosemère vert: With our assistance this citizens’ group presented to their citizens and the Town Council a financial analysis (conducted by former Westmount Mayor, Peter Trent) which shows that development on the Rosemère Golf Course (which they are working to keep green) would actually result in higher taxes for its residents.

  • Nature Hudson: A biodiversity study we helped fund found twenty-nine endangered species on the Sandy Beach proposed development site in Hudson, where the developer reported only one endangered species. The results are now part of the Environment Ministry’s files. In addition, a financial analysis of this proposed development showed the same result as in Rosemere. We also funded legal procedures in defence of the Willowbrook area in Hudson, which contains wetlands, forests and an important archeological site, the Ottawa Glass Works. The new municipal council has, in part because of these initiatives, placed a reserve on these two areas, thereby halting development.

  • L’Association des citoyens de Mont-Saint-Hilaire: We helped fund a biodiversity study for this citizens’ group in Mont St.-Hilaire to preserve an area at the foot of Mont-Saint-Hilaire. 

  • Les Partenaires du lac Tamaracouta et de ses environs: This citizens’ group has formed to protect the Scouts Canada lands in the Laurentians known as Tamaracouta as well as adjacent forests. We assisted with the formation of this group and are providing funding for legal research.

  • The Green Coalition: We have funded a number of procedures, including an injunction, undertaken by the Green Coalition to preserve the Technoparc wetlands and forests in Ville Saint-Laurent in Montreal.

  • Eau Secours ! : We are providing funding for an appeal being undertaken by the CQDE for this citizens’ group, seeking to reverse a lower court decision denying access to records of the withdrawal of water from aquifers by commercial water bottlers.

  • Sauvons le Mont Rigaud: We are providing funding for legal research and possible recourses against housing developments on Rigaud Mountain in Quebec.

  • Protection Mont Gale: We are providing funding for legal and related research into a proposed purchase of a parcel of land in Bromont currently slated for development.

  • Sauvons la Falaise: We funded legal research into Certificates of Authorization issued by Quebec’s environment ministry which encroach on the protected area of the Falaise St-Jacques.

  • Sauvons la Forêt Fairview: We are funding research into possible legal action by this citizens’ group to prevent the destruction of a large forest in Pointe-Claire, Québec by a development project proposed by Cadillac Fairview, the development arm of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

  • REgard Citoyen !: We are funding legal research by this citizens’ group in Saint-Joseph-du-lac to prevent the destruction of a large forest and wetland, including enforcement of the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the production of a related biodiversity study.

  • Trainsparence: We funded an appeal by this citizens’ group of a lower court decision refusing an injunction to prevent the cutting of thousands of trees in the Technoparc area by the Réseau express métropolitain.

 

Other projects that support our legal activities in defence of the environment:

  • Scraping Project: We are analysing, on an ongoing basis, Quebec’s environment ministry website for information on applications for Certificates of Authorization.  With this information we will be able to forewarn local citizens’ groups of new projects to destroy their natural environment.

  • Fiscal Analysis Project: We fund studies that assess the true effects on municipal taxes caused by  proposed developments under applicable municipal and tax laws.

  • Citizen’s Handbook Project: We are assisting, in partnership with TerraHumana Solutions, a curriculum for training citizens’ groups on how to integrate legal and other strategies in defence of their local environment.

  • Migratory Birds Convention Initiative: In partnership with Sierra Club Québec, we are assisting in a project to inform and assist municipalities in their obligations to protect migratory birds under this Act.

  • Chair in Environmental Dispute Resolution:  We are working to establish and fund a Chair in Environmental Dispute Resolution at a faculty of law in a Montreal university.

04/25/2021 - The Green Coalition has lost a four year court battle to protect Technoparc’s unique wetland ecosystem in the St. Laurent borough. This ecosystem shelters the largest variety of bird species recorded on Montreal Island.
 
In its application for a permanent injunction, the Green Coalition asked the court to stop development, reverse the environmental damage already done, and conserve the area in perpetuity. But before the injunction was heard, thousands of trees were felled; a dike and a road were built that drained important marshes, causing a marked decline in the bird population.

 

Read the full release HERE.

 

04/11/2020 - 6 Admissions by the Minister of the Environment in the Technoparc injunction:

1) All applications for certificates of authorization (CAs) have been granted by the Minister of the Environment.
2) The objective of the Minister is to help promoters to obtain their CAs.
3) If the Minister does not receive all applicable studies from promoters, the Minister accepts undertakings to do so. However, no follow up is done by the Minister on the undertaking. It another office that’s in charge of follow up.
4) Transfers of CA from one promoter to another or a city is a formality. No meaningful verification is done on the new promoter.
5) Up until 2017-18, all information, studies and analysis were kept confidential. Worse, when going through the “Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec”, the Minister would issue documents (CA) hiding key information, dimensions of the land to be transformed, etc.
6) Even though the Minister knows (or should know) that drying up a wetland will affect the bird population, it never requires a study of the impact of drying up on the bird population.

07/21/2020 - Article in the Montreal Gazette: "Montreal group applies 'act locally' credo to legal defence of the environment." Full article HERE.

07/06/2020 - Article in Westmount Magazine: "Bill 61 needs to be completely changed!" The Green Coalition declares that Bill 61 remains a huge danger for our environment and our civil rights. Full article HERE.

06/11/2020 - The Green Coalition has hired a law firm to send a formal notice to the Legault government, demanding they remove anti-environmental clauses from Bill 61. Full press release (French only) HERE.

06/06/2020 - The Green Coalition held a teleconference to demand a public inquiry into procedures at the Ministry of the Environment. More information HERE.

Other Activities:


-In June, LFE provided funds for a free web conference about the Technoparc Wetlands case, attended by seventy-five participants.  At this conference, participants learned essential technical details of how to get information from the Quebec ministry of the environment web site, the ongoing devastation of the Wetlands by Montreal’s commercial development scheme, the historic complicity of the ministry with developers, and the current plans by the Quebec government to weaken environmental protections even further.

-LFE is supporting citizens in Senneville at the western tip of Montreal Island in their challenge to the municipality’s plan to allow a housing development on a local wetland.


-In the greater Montreal area, discussions are underway with another citizens’ environmental committee contemplating legal action against its municipality over the destruction of natural spaces.  LFE is considering how best it can assist the committee.


-The Green Coalition sent a demand letter to the Quebec government in response to its Act to Re-start Quebec’s Economy. This act would further weaken Quebec’s environmental review processes pursuant to its stated policy of promoting the interests of developers.  The government failed to pass the law prior to its summer recess, but will try again in the fall. 


-In 2015, Sauvons L’Anse-à-L’Orme brought a suit against the city of Montreal, charging that wetlands were illegally filled, that no assessments of possible ecological impacts were made, and that no Certificat d’autorisation had been issued by Quebec’s ministry of the environment.  The construction work involved a temporary road and sewage main on the Ministry of Transport’s right-of-way in the borough of Pierrefonds/Roxboro. This case was settled when the city produced the missing certificate. In light of what was revealed during the Technoparc court case, LFE is now investigating the validity of that certificate.