Press kit – S.O.S. Meadowbrook

*Download press release (EN), the bilingual flyer, and the appendix (French only)*

Lire et télécharger le communiqué de presse en français.


Press Release – For immediate distribution

S.O.S Meadowbrook: Montreal must take action to preserve Meadowbrook green space

Montréal, April 2010: Les Amis de Meadowbrook, in collaboration with Héritage Laurentien and supported by dozens of environmental groups and thousands of citizens island-wide, announce that on Monday April 19, 2010 they will be taking their campaign directly to Montreal City Hall in an attempt to convince the Mayor and members of Council to preserve Meadowbrook.

In light of the recently divulged plans by the developers Groupe Pacific Canada to build housing on Meadowbrook, Les Amis will be taking the following steps:

1. Most important of all, Les Amis de Meadowbrook will encourage everyone to learn about Meadowbrook by consulting the blog, to write to Maire Tremblay in order to tell him about the need to protect Meadowbrook and to attend the next Montreal Municipal Council meeting (April 19, 2010 at 275, Notre-Dame East, at 7:00) and make their case personally.

2. Les Amis will request that the Mayor of Montreal and the Executive Committee follow the recommendations of the Labrecque Commission and protect Meadowbrook.

In June 2009, the Commission of the Agglomeration dealing with green space policy (La Commission permanente du conseil d’agglomération sur les grands équipements et les activités d’intérêt d’agglomération) presided by Michel Labrecque, (currently president of the STM,) after hearing over 25 citizens and groups, made many valid recommendations including to adopt greenways (trames vertes) across the island and a recommendation to preserve Meadowbrook (see appendix, p.2). This follows similar recommendations of the Office de la Consultation Publique de Montréal in 2004.

It is now nine months since these recommendations were presented to the Agglomeration and City Councils and the Montreal Executive still has not given its response.

3. Les Amis will request that the Borough of Lachine consult with its neighboring municipalities before it reviews any plans or requests from the promoters of Meadowbrook development, as was recommended by the MUC in 1989 and as is required by Montreal’s own Master Plan (Secteur de planification détailléesection 4.19, balise 1).

4. Furthermore, Les Amis will request that no consideration be given to any future housing development on Meadowbrook in view of the fact that the site is surrounded by railway yards.

Any construction of housing would be in flagrant violation of the 300-meter safe-setback zone identified in the Guidelines issued jointly by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Railway Association of Canada. These Guidelines were adopted and approved by the FCM and supported by the City of Montreal in 2007 under the leadership of Mr. Claude Dauphin (Mayor of Lachine) while he presided over Public Security in the City of Montreal and was president of the Montreal Caucus at the FCM (see the map in the appendix, p.11). Still worse, the imminent installation of new AMT repair yards will further intensify the railway shunting activities next to Meadowbrook. Meadowbrook is not an appropriate place to build housing, whether or not is called sustainable housing.

5. Les Amis de Meadowbrook will request that the City of Montreal take into account the many compelling reasons to preserve Meadowbrook, including the following:

1. Biodiversity: The City of Montreal, in this international year of Biodiversity, boasts of a commitment to preserving biodiversity. Meadowbrook has a potential for biodiversity unlike any other in the region (see appendix, p.3). It is the last green space in the greater Southwestern Montreal region which could easily be naturalized in order to offer a rich biodiversity and be essential for migrating birds. The city however, by accepting this development, would sacrifice both its ecological principles and our common heritage for a developer’s private gain.

2. Public Health: Montreal’s own Direction de Santé Publique states that proximity to green spaces leads to cooler temperatures and better health while allowing the population to do physical activity (see appendix, p.4).

3. Archeological potential: Meadowbrook has a major archeological potential and, as a result, no intervention modifying the soil should be done without having archeological digs prior (see appendix, p.5).

4. Economic potential: The potential sums associated to nature related recreation and tourism in the metropolitan Montreal Community numbers in the billions of dollars annually. These could play a major role for the revitalization of the Saint-Pierre neighborhood of Lachine (see appendix, p.6).

5. Ease of creating a park: Meadowbrook could easily be naturalized and become an ecological park (see appendix, p.7).

6. Greenway (Trame Verte): Meadowbrook should be part of a larger ‘trame verte’ connecting it to the ‘falaise Saint-Jacques’, as recommended by the Labrecque Commission in 2009, which would multiply its public accessibility and have many other benefits including ecological, environmental, social, recreational, tourism related and economic (see appendix, p.8).

7. Demographics: The City and Island are losing families to the suburbs. Destroying our green spaces will accelerate the trend, while preserving and enhancing them provides the quality of life that will reverse it.

8. Constraints preventing a development: The questions of security linked to the rail yards, the sound pollution and the exorbitant costs linked to making the site both safe and accessible are major hurdles to any development (see appendix, p.11)

6. In collaboration with Heritage Laurentien, Les Amis de Meadowbrook will put forth various scenarios to preserve Meadowbrook either by way of a land exchange or by expropriation (see appendix, p. 9 and 10).

Les Amis de Meadowbrook thus invites all the citizens of the island of Montreal to support this effort and to come to Montreal City Hall next April 19th to demonstrate the need to protect Meadowbrook and to see for themselves whether the city really will choose short-sighted development for private gain over our children’s common heritage.

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Patrick Asch, biologist, specialized: management of urban environments: 514.830.6540
Avrom Shtern, technical expert, Les Amis de Meadowbrook: 514-482-4882
Dida Berku, counsellor, Côte Saint-Luc, 514-531-6896


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