The mayor calls on the minister in the Ray-Mont file

The Mayor of Montreal, Valerie Plante, asks the Minister of the Environment of Quebec “to assess the possibility” of triggering an environmental assessment of the Ray-Mont Logistiques container transshipment platform project, in the east of the city.

In a letter addressed to Benoit Charette on Thursday, the mayoral candidate adds her voice to the mayor of the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, Pierre Lessard-Blais, and to a citizens’ movement calling for a public hearing of the Bureau public hearings on the environment (BAPE). Ms. Plante’s letter refers to section 31.1.1 of the Environment Quality Act, by which the Minister may exceptionally decide to subject a project to the Impact Assessment and Review Procedure on the environment, in particular if “the environmental issues that the project may give rise to are major and the concerns of the public justify it”.

“Despite the many efforts made to find the best possible location scenario, respectful of the adjacent living environments, the local population fears the harmful effects on their health, quality of life and the environment, in particular because of the anticipated increase. the passage of trucks, writes the mayoress in her letter. Many also stressed the importance of protecting the rare green spaces in the Assomption-Sud sector threatened by the project. “

This letter was sent two days before the holding of a demonstration against the project scheduled for Sunday noon at Place Simon-Valois, where many politicians are expected, including Quebec Solidaire spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and the head of Quebec Party, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon. The latter also claimed, in an interview with the newspaper Metro Thursday, an evaluation of the project by the BAPE.

The candidates of Liberal Party of Canada, of Bloc Quebecois and you New Democratic Party in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough also confirmed their presence at the march, according to the organizers.

No project submitted to the ministry

For its part, the office of the Minister of the Environment, replies, in a letter sent Wednesday to Pierre Lessard-Blais, that it is not possible to trigger an environmental impact study since Ray-Mont Logistiques has not has not yet submitted an authorization request for its project to the ministry. The only works authorized for the moment, which are moreover in progress, concern land rehabilitation.

Member of the MHM 6600 Parc-Nature Mobilization, Marie-Ève ​​Rancourt underlines that this work is already important, since it involves paving and “the creation of a heat island”. She is delighted with the mayor’s support.

“The ball is in the government’s court, which is attentive rather than proactive,” she said. Everyone is worried about the project in the neighborhood. Why doesn’t he take the lead? The resident of Merci-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve believes that the minister could put pressure on Ray-Mont so that he officially files a project.

For his part, Ray-Mont recalls that discussions are taking place within the working group led by the city, in which citizens participate, to determine what measures would be necessary to mitigate the nuisances. The company would wait until the end of these consultations to submit its project.

Tensions have been high on the Ray-Mont Logistique field for a few weeks. Thursday morning, around thirty demonstrators temporarily blocked access to the site, until the arrival of police, reports the company. The latter also claims to have been a victim attempted arson and violent acts.

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