Organizations and citizens blame the Ministry of Environment for granting a filling permit in a forested area, without considering the known risks of flooding.
In Quebec, in the Loretteville sector, in July the department authorized the filling of a wetland to allow development there. It is located in the Châtels forest, which various citizens try to protect. Recently, a rally was held in support of the protection of the forested area.
However, according to three organisations, this gesture is harmful to the environment. “The case of the Boisé des Châtels in Quebec, where the MELCC approved refilling for the construction of a new industrial development this summer, is the most recent example that illustrates this problematic management”, says the Regional Council for the Environment, the Capital Watershed Organization and Nature Quebec. “This industrial project, which involves the sealing of a large part of the wetlands in the forested area, is a direct threat to the proper management of stormwater from the Lorette River and the Sainte-Barbe stream, both of which are prone to flooding.”
The vulnerability of the Lorette River has been known for a long time, note the organizations. As early as 1973, a report advised that the urbanization of its watershed could cause risks of flooding and soil erosion.
According to the organizations, the department’s actions are detrimental to the city’s efforts to better develop its territory.
For Pierre Turgeon and Catherine Rouleau, two citizens of the sector, this way of doing things from the ministry is worrying. They said they were, however, reassured by a recent conversation with their municipal councilor, Marie-Josée Asselin, who informed them that the work is not imminent, as no permit application has been submitted to the city at this time. But they want to avoid waking up to the surprise of a construction site that has started. “That’s our concern, that’s why we’re raising the alarm about it.”
The administration of Bruno Marchand set up a committee to establish a portrait of the state of the forested areas of the city of Quebec, with the aim of protecting them from the pressure of development. The results should be known in the coming months.
At the time of this writing, the Ministry of Environment has not responded to our questions.