More than 300 people demonstrated against the Ray-Mont Logistiques container transshipment platform project, in the district of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Residents fear that the movement and storage of hundreds of containers, 24/7, could affect their health, their peace and the quality of life in the neighborhood.

“The more we learn, the more I’m afraid for the future of my neighborhood, my street and that of my children,” laments Marc-André Robertson, owner of an apartment just 150 m from the site. “My children are playing in the alley, behind the containers, the noise and the dust, I’m not too fond of that. “

In a letter sent Thursday to Benoit Charrette, the mayoress of Montreal, Valerie Plante, asked “to assess the possibility” of submitting the project to a review by the Office of Public Hearings on the Environment (BAPE). Ms. Plante referred to section 31.1.1 of the Environment Quality Act, through which the Minister may exceptionally decide to subject a project to a review if “the environmental issues that the project may give rise to are major and that the concerns of the public justify it ”.

In May, more than 4,000 petitioners were already calling for an assessment of the project’s impacts on the environment, health and quality of life.

“These are steps in the right direction, but there is nothing stopping today with a petition and a motion. What we want is a nature park, then we will stop when we have it! »Launched to applause Anaïs Houde, spokesperson for Mobilization 6600 parc-nature MHM, the citizen movement organizing the event.

A project worthy of the “20th century”

The politicians present, from various backgrounds, all insisted on the importance of the BAPE. Paul St-Pierre Plamondon reiterated the position of the Quebec Party, which will seize “next week the national assembly by tabling a motion and by forcing the CAQ to answer if yes or not, there will be a BAPE. “

The leader of Québec Solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, was also present alongside the deputy for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Alexandre Leduc. “What bothers us the most is the way in which we are imposing on an entire neighborhood a project that is retrograde, that is part of a vision of the development of the economy of the 20th century. It is a project which is polluting and which will deteriorate the quality of life of people, ”he declared.

“It is not the renewal of a heavy industrial past that we want in the east of Montreal,” added Soraya Martinez Ferrada, outgoing Liberal MP for Hochelaga.

Protect living together

“There are plenty of things we can do with this terrain. We can create a nature park, attract businesses compatible with a living environment, we can do housing or large-scale urban agriculture, ”said Cassandre Charbonneau-Jobin, member of Mobilization 6600 parc-nature MHM and imagining for the vacant lot, a development that responds more to community needs.

“It is not because we are in a neighborhood that is not rich and chic that we can afford to spoil the possibilities,” regrets Hélène Lemieux, stressing the lack of green places in the neighborhood. What worries her the most is living together. “We want to share a space which is a living space, and not live in the interstices of an industrial space”.

Contacted by The duty to react to the mobilization, the general manager of Ray-Mont Logistiques, Charles Raymond, said yesterday that he was “aware that the intermodal logistics platform project may raise questions for some residents of the sector and that it is legitimate to express it publicly. . “

The company voluntarily suspended all work related to operations last June in order to build on a process of consultation with the people of the neighborhood and the City of Montreal. “

With Roxane Léouzon

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