Volunteers Needed!

    Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook is a lively, dynamic group whose mission is to transform Meadowbrook, a 57-hectare green space that straddles the city of Cote St. Luc and the borough of Lachine, into an urban heritage nature park accessible to all. Members of the group are also involved in a great many ways in the fight to preserve green spaces on the Island of Montreal.

    If you would like to make a contribution and bring your special expertise to the table, here are a few suggestions:

    Communications Committee

    If you are a WordPress or a Wiki wizard, we would like to hear from you for help with our website (www.lesamsidemeadowbrook.org) and our ecomap project (www.montrealecomap.com). We could also use some help on our Facebook (www.facebook.com/sosmeadowbrook) and Twitter pages (@ParcMeadowbrook) and our petition on Change.org.

    Les Amis has started a tour of Lachine, Cote St-Luc, Montreal West, NDG and Westmount to inform West-End residents of green issues. If you have a suggestion for a venue or would like to help organize these events, we can certainly use your help.

    Guardians of Meadowbrook

    This is a special initiative to protect Meadowbrook until it becomes a nature park. A number of projects are under consideration: bird boxes and feeders (Meadowbrook is well known to birdwatchers), renaturalization, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter, access routes to the area, etc.

    Good research, collaborative and negotiating skills are required in this case.

    Sauvons la Falaise

    Les Amis and Sauvons la Falaise (www.sauvonslafalaise.ca) are partner organisationsSauvons la Falaise’s mission is the protection of the Falaise Saint-Jacques ecoterritory that stretches four kilometres from Montreal West to Westmount along St. Jacques Boulevard.

    Here is a special assignment, one best suited to geography buffs. We need to make a map of the Falaise with GPS coordinates. For those with a more political bent, we also need volunteers to follow the proceedings of the Bon voisinage Turcot meetings in NDG and the Sud-Ouest, as well as volunteers to attend municipal council meetings.

    Contact us at lesamisdemeadowbrook@gmail.com to learn more about Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook and help us make Meadowbrook accessible to all. Thank you for your interest!

    All Stakeholders Must Participate in Decision about l’Anse-à-l’Orme

    The report of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) regarding hearings on the future of l’Anse-à-l’Orme in western Pierrefonds “is a clear rebuke to the City of Montreal and the Borough of Pierrefond-Roxboro for their 10 years of cosy back-room dealings with land developers,” says Les Amis du parc Meadowbrook spokesman Campbell Stuart.

    The OCPM hearings, which took place in the spring, received 272 written briefs and heard from 73 individuals and organizations. Some 87 percent were opposed to allowing housing construction at l’Anse-à-l’Orme.

    Developers want to build 5,000 houses on 185 hectares of wetlands, woods, fields and former farmland on the shore of Lac des Deux Montagnes. Sauvons l’Anse-à-l’Orme and other environmental groups have spearheaded opposition to development.

    The OCPM report, made public on Sept. 29, pointed to a lack of consensus on the area’s future. The commission recommended that studies be completed on biodiversity protection, community benefits, economic viability of a new development, urban sprawl, transportation, and respect of international commitments pertaining to the environment.

    It also recommended that the urban planning exercise that is already underway for the area continue, but “this time, the exercise should involve all stakeholders, including citizens and environmental organizations, and set forth different scenarios ranging from protecting the territory as a whole to various ratios of protection and real estate development.”

    Stuart presented a brief on behalf of Les Amis du parc Meadowbrook during the hearings, and several members of Les Amis made individual presentations. The brief from Les Amis stated that l’Anse-à-l’Orme must be preserved and turned into a nature park, open and accessible to everyone.

    Les Amis suggested the area be preserved for its intrinsic environmental value to future generations. The brief argued the proposed development fails to meet Montreal’s own criteria for sustainable development since it does not protect natural areas, it promotes the use of automobiles and it does not revitalize existing neighbourhoods. Furthermore, it suggested the proposal should also be rejected for fiscal reasons, since taxpayers are being asked to subsidize speculative ventures for private profit.

    The OCPM’s recommendation is non-binding, however, Stuart noted that the report is an important milestone in the fight to save the the l’Anse-à-l’Orme corridor from destruction.

    A public rally will be held on Monday, October 2nd at 6:00 p.m. in front of the Pierrefonds City Hall (13665 Pierrefonds Boulevard) to discuss the report and its implications.

    The City of Montreal has won

    Superior Court Judge Pepita G. Capriolo has handed down her decision in the $44 million case opposing Groupe Pacific, the owners of Meadowbrook, and the City of Montreal.

    The City of Montreal has won on all counts.

    Groupe Pacific alleged that the City had to all intents and purposes expropriated the land and had acted in bad faith in dealing with them. The promoter was asking $28.5 million for the disguised expropriation and further added $10.4 million for the loss of housing unit sales and a further $5.045 million for the loss of lot sales. Groupe Pacific had originally purchased the land for $3 million in 2006.

    In her decision, the judge said the promoter did not manage to prove bad faith in the case of the City.  She also dismissed any damages: the promoter was requesting damages for both the loss of housing unit and lot sales.

    Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook is very pleased with the outcome of this case and will continue its campaign to make Meadowbrook an urban nature park accessible to all.

    See https://youtu.be/oalZdXOHwxc, Pimento Report #124, “Meadowbrook — A Park for All”. Go to 7 minutes, 40 seconds in the timeline to view Campbell Stuart’s presentation on the history of the struggle to preserve Meadowbrook and an interview with Campbell about the significance of this lawsuit. (In English only.)

    See also:  http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/judge-rejects-developers-lawsuit-against-montreal-over-meadowbrook