Environmentalists back in court, trying to halt REM construction
Environmentalists concerned about the wildlife in the Saint-Laurent Technoparc are back in court.
Activists and environmental groups say they’re worried about the wildlife in the area and how the construction for preliminary work for the future Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) light-rail project and removal of trees will affect their habitat.
“The plaintiffs in the case against the REM being taken before the Court of Appeal are asking for a safeguard order from the Court of Appeal, to prevent the REM, the CDPQ Infra and the Quebec Government from continuing its destruction of the Technoparc wet lands while the case is before the Court of Appeal,” said lawyer Campbell Stuart.
The work site is across the street from the Eco-campus marsh, where over 80 different species of birds live throughout the year.
“We are of the view that what they are doing is improper. It is wrong for the promoters of this to get their machinery on the ground to try and change the facts on the ground, while the very case that we are going to pleading before the Court of Appeal still has not been heard,” Stuart said.
The motion for the safeguard order is expected to be heard on Friday.
The appeal itself will be argued on Nov. 2. The group is appealing a decision from last December in which a judge dismissed the group’s decision to throw out a lawsuit to delay the light rail project.
A spokesperson for the REM told Global News he cannot comment on the case because it is before the courts. Yet he reiterated that work crews are limiting the impact on the wetlands that are north of Alexander Fleming Street.
A total of 20 hectares of brush, shrubbery and trees will be removed for the construction of the REM project, but that will be replaced with 250,000 trees, which the REM says represents more than 200 hectares when the project is complete.
A underground tunnel will connect the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport with the REM network.
Crews will burrow beneath the marsh to connect to the Saint-Laurent Technoparc station.