Politicians join the call to the federal government to preserve the Technoparc wetlands

An MP, an MNA and the Technoparc Oiseaux group were outraged to hear that the airport had torn down a green space used by several species, including the monarch butterfly.

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Two Montreal politicians, a parliamentarian and a deputy, are calling on the federal government to preserve a large green space leased and managed for many years by the Montreal airport authority after thousands of plants were razed in mid-June, according to the group. TechnoparcOiseaux.

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Liberal MNA Marwah Rizqy, who represents St-Laurent horse riding, and NDP federal deputy Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie) joined the group on Tuesday to demand that the lease between Aéroports de Montréal and Transport Canada to protect the space, or create a federal park to protect the 200-hectare ecosystem north of Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. It’s a green space the size of Mount Royal, Rizqy noted, and one of the few remaining green spaces on the island.

Boulerice said the fact that the space is rented should not be a pretext for the Trudeau government to “wash its hands of Aéroports de Montréal’s actions.” He said the government must “tighten the screws” on WMD.

“Biodiversity is not just something that happens in the Amazon or sub-Saharan Africa, it’s also in our backyard.”

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Rizqy suggested the space would be “appropriate” for the government to fulfill its promise to create an urban national park in every province and territory.

“If nothing is done, we will lose this opportunity,” Rizqy said.

ADM recently worked on some of their land, which has been lying fallow since 2012. The move angered TechnoparcOiseaux, saying flowers, bushes and plants were destroyed in the middle of nesting season, which could harm, among other species, the monarch butterfly.

“We also found dead birds on the ground,” said the group’s spokesman, Benoit Gravel.

ADM admitted this week to cutting the field, suggesting it was normal maintenance.

Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra “has already written directly to the CEO of ADM to express his concerns, request details on the next steps on this dossier and reiterate the urgency of the situation,” his office said. The lease agreement gives ADM the freedom to make decisions about the land, but also includes requirements for environmental protection, he added, and the ministry follows up weekly with ADM on this file.

The grounds already include a nature park, created by ADM in the fall. “This is a good start, but we reiterate that ADM needs to do more,” the Alghabra office said.

In January, a plan to build a mask factory in the so-called “Monarch Fields” was abandoned after pressure from environmental groups.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of Meta and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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