The works carried out by the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) as part of the expansion of the Boulevard de l’Assomption could harm the conservation of the Steinberg forest, worry citizens and the mayor of the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district.
On the empty lot located east of Viau Street and north of Hochelaga Street, MTQ employees began harvesting various weeds and herbs. Some trees have already been cut down.
Citizens concerned about this work called the Bureau of Elected Officials.
“Although the MTQ may do this type of work legally, it is worrying that these interventions are being carried out without any consideration for the wetland of the Steinberg woodland,” replied Mr. Lessard-Blais on his personal Facebook page.
Wooded Steinberg is a wetland listed by the Ministry for Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change (MDDELCC).
Recommendations from the Montreal Public Consultation Office (OCPM) were also made regarding its retention in 2019.
The activist of the city group Les AmiEs du parc-nature Ruisseau-de-la-Grande-Prairie, Francois Plourde, has been lobbying for a long time to protect the wooded areas of the Assomption metro station.
He is not surprised by the situation. “I have the impression that MTQ is trying to get it over with this fall while no one is watching,” he complains. The project involves three levels of government. The municipal government wants to keep the forest as much as possible, but this is not the case with the provincial or federal government. “
Ownership of the MTQ
No permission is required for this job. The land is owned by the MTQ. The Department is holding it with a view to building a ring road for the Assomption-Souligny extension.
This will make freight transport more efficient by giving truckers better access to the Port of Montreal.
“As for the north of the territory, the construction of a transformation station is planned by Hydro-Quebec. MTQ is the decision maker and accountable, ”says Vincent Fortin, district communications manager.
In its public consultation report on the vision for economic and urban development of the Assomption Sud – Longue-Pointe sector, published in August 2019, the OCPM recommends that studies be undertaken swiftly in order to preserve the ecological site as much as possible.
The Committee also recommends that near the corridor planned for the new Boulevard de l’Assomption, a development should be made that favors the absorption and recovery of rainwater with naturalized wetlands.
“Not only is the Quebec government aware of this wet lawn, but our numerous requests for the circuit to be withdrawn from the Assomption-Souligny extension are based on the protection and biological revitalization of this environment,” writes Mr. Lessard-Blais.
At the time of writing, MTQ still hadn’t answered our questions.