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2nd Edition - July 2009
 
IN THIS EDITION
Aux arbres citoyens!
Send your opinion on
the scenarios presented
by the city

Information nights regarding the «South-West area development »:

OUR ANALYSIS OF THE SCENARIOS PRESENTED BY THE CITY

Erratum
 
 
SIMILAR CAUSES THROUGHOUT QUEBEC; GO HAVE A LOOK OF THEIR WEBSITE AND SIGN THEIR PETITION:
Le Boisé du Brome (over)
Les 3 Grandes Îles
 
VISIT THE CITY'S OFFICIAL WEBSITE:
ville.chateauguay.qc.ca
 
VISIT OUR WEBSITE:
sos-fernand-seguin.com
 
 
 
Aux arbres citoyens!
(To arms, citizens, form your battalion!)
 
 
Hello all,

Little did we know that the road towards creating a regional park in order to preserve in perpetuity a natural space would be full of pitfalls! But history shows us that determined citizens mobilized around of a just and workable cause can succeed and win.

Let us remember the group of fishermen who, in the 1970s managed to appropriate the whole of the Quebec territory that was up to then barred to them by the regime of private hunting and fishing clubs.

Quebec’s history regarding the creation of public parks is recent. Citizens, every time, had to mobilize and put pressure on governments. The protection of the Chateauguay-Léry forest is no exception.

The information provided by the city of Chateauguay within the currently ongoing consultation has been “arranged” to have the citizens believe that the protection of this forest would only increase their taxes while the construction of a new residential area would do the opposite!

The economic and environmental impact “studies”, presented in the document distributed to all the citizens of Chateauguay, deserves that we dwell on it a little. We suggest you read the detailed analysis that we prepared and you may possibly find that the information has been oriented towards the promotion of scenario B.

The Mayor of Chateauguay invited the citizens to submit their views to “Conservation and Development” before August 14. Is he hoping that the effect of summer will make us forget that more than 10,000 people have already expressed their opinion by signing a petition calling for the protection of our forest?

NO WAY NO HOW!

Our mobilization does not falter because we adamantly believe that this new park would be the best thing that could happen for us. Just ask the citizens of Saint-Bruno if they want to see their park disappear.  This park, created in 1985, now offers them an exceptional quality of life and an appreciable added value to their properties.

OH YES!

Our project to develop and valorise a regional park is a feasible project. An important part of this forest is already public domain (Transport Québec) and private land may be acquired by taking advantage of several available grants and through conservation foundations.  Even the creation of new trails could be funded.

It just lacks a bit of political will…

   
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Send your opinion on the scenarios presented by the city
 
You can mail your letter to:
Développement et conservation
Hôtel de ville
5, boul. D’Youville
Châteauguay. Qc.
J6J 2P8
You can send it by e-mail at :
Developpementetconservation@ville.chateauguay.qc.ca
   
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Analysis of the Development Scenarios Presented by the City of Chateauguay
 
The city of Chateauguay had three scenarios for the development of the South-West sector - where the forest that SOS Fernand-Seguin wishes to preserve and promote, prepared by consulting firms.

The population of Chateauguay was invited to information evenings and a document purporting to summarize these presentations was distributed by mail to all citizens.

Because we believe that having a good knowledge of all the economic and environmental impacts is necessary to an informed decision-making position, this document deserves that we dwell on it a little.

Note that this document is available on the city of Chateauguay’s website.
 
The figures are questionnables

- The areas studied and presented in the three scenarios are not comparable; we find gaps of about 280,000 square feet from one scenario to the next...

- Different population densities have been used to promote scenario B, the number of dwellings per hectare is 75.7 % higher in the B scenario as in scenario A and estimated revenues are in accordance...

- 847 linear metres of street construction has been unnecessarily added to scenario C; in this scenario, a single building is planned and it lies at the corner of two existing streets (Blvd. Brisebois and René Lévesque). An estimated bill of $5,058,284...

- The upgrade to the collector networks (rainwater-aqueduct-sewage) that will be required due to the development of this new area has not been studied and could significantly increase the total amount of the bill...

For these reasons we believe that the net budgetary impacts presented in the city’s document are incomplete and distorts our understanding of the stakes.
 
The study of the environmental impacts appears to be incomplete

- The absence of a hydrological impact study concerning the drainage and artificialisation of much of the forest endangers the survival of wetlands located immediately west of the residential development under scenario B. We cannot claim to preserve a wetland if the water supply is cut off...

- Scenario B’s environmental impact does not take into account what biologists call the fragmentation and border effect.  We must almost double the area affected by the construction of houses in order to properly measure the effect on the survival of biodiversity. An animal living in the middle of a forest is not equipped to survive in a fragmented remnant of a forest! A small protected territory is not sufficient to preserve biodiversity.

- The impact on animal life has not been studied; bird (avian fauna), frog and other inventories, started in the fall of 2008 and which has just ended, was not taken into consideration in the city of Chateauguay’s document.  Biologists concur that the best index of wealth or poverty of a site is given by the presence of birds. This must be taken into account before making the decision to destroy their habitat.

 
No scenarios on the total preservation of the forest with its economic impatcs. Yet…

The value of services rendered by a forest was not presented to the population.

We “forgot” to mention:

- That the outdoor leisure market in Quebec represents an annual sum of 1.3 billion.

- That 45 % of the population practice hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

- That over half the population of Québec lives in the Montréal region but that this region offers barely 10% of the total of trails in Quebec.

- That the demand for proximity trails is in constant growth but very few cities can develop new networks in natural environments having all but destroyed everything.

- That Chateauguay and Léry are in a privileged position because they possess a vast green corridor of high ecological value that has the potential to become one of the most beautiful parks of Southern Quebec.

- That the average value of homes in Saint-Bruno, that has a valorized conservation park since 1985, is 63% higher than Chateauguay.

- That the levels of taxation are lower (33 %) and this when the population density by square km is only half that of Chateauguay.

- That with 750 000 visitors each year, the Mount Saint-Bruno Park generates a significant recreational tourism activity. The Chateauguay-Léry Park could expect a similar attendance level in the fairly near future.

- That the creation of a regional park, offering dozens of kilometres for hiking in the great outdoors near the Montreal region, would give Chateauguay a strong identity and would justify the official slogan: “Chateauguay, my true nature...”.

   
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Erratum

To all our readers, in the first edition of the L'Écho du Boisé (June 2009), the third paragraph of the article “The Final Battle for the Protection of the Woods” should read as follows.

 “Since being elected as Mayor, Sergio Pavone has ably surrounded himself by a "formidable” team. Current Director of Economic Development for the city of Chateauguay, Mr. Jacques Roy organized elections for the Liberal Party of Canada, as well as for the elections of Ralliement Châteauguay. As for his part, Mr. René Lemaire, former Director General of Option Canada, is a contract employee for our city’s communications.”

We apologize if any inconveniences were caused to Mr. René Lemaire by the first wording.

Guy Turcotte
SOS Fernand Seguin

For more information concerning Option Canada
- www.ledevoir.com/2007/05/30/145376.html
- www.electionsquebec.qc.ca/(...)/RAPPORT_GRENIER_WEB.pdf

   
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Write us at sos.fern@sympatico.ca