• John Jantak

Chaline Valley landslide study will be presented to area residents next Wednesday


St. Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo announced at the Tuesday evening council meeting that a public information session will be held next Wednesday for Chaline Valley residents to announce the findings of a provincial Ministry of Transport report regarding the landslide risk zone.

The long-awaited provincial Ministry of Transport (MTQ) landslide risk assessment report will finally be presented to Chaline Valley residents at a public information session scheduled for next Wednesday evening, May 14, 6:30 p.m., at the St. Lazare Community Centre, 1301 Rue du Bois.

Residents were informed of the upcoming meeting on Tuesday after the Town of St. Lazare delivered letters to all households in the surrounding area which also stated that a number of properties have been added to the zone of constraint, while other properties have been excluded from the landslide risk zone, according to Mayor Robert Grimaudo.

Grimaudo, who was responding to questions asked by Your Local Journal at the end of the Tuesday evening council meeting, was unable to provide specific details about the MTQ report and stated he was not at liberty to make any comments until all the report’s details are publicly released by the Ministry of Public Security to area residents at the public information session.

“We’re not allowed to reveal anything because the report doesn’t actually belong to us,” said Grimaudo. “The report belongs to the Ministry of Public Security. They mandated the MTQ to write them a report and send it to them. They showed us the report, but until the Ministry explains the report to residents, we’re not allowed to release it.

“We got to see it, we’re starting to understand it and what’s going on, and next week, we will basically sit here with all the people from the government, take residents’ questions, answer their questions, and then probably at the end of the evening, give copies of the report to those who want a copy,” Grimaudo said.

The only detail that Grimaudo was able to comment on is the fact that original landslide zone that was originally designated in a Ministry of Environment report that was presented to Chaline Valley residents at a public meeting in September 2012, has now moved.

“The landslide zone is in a different place; it’s moved. In certain places it’s wider; in other places it’s narrower. It’s not exactly where it was before, but more or less, it’s along the ravine. People who have been affected are not affected now, and people who were not affected are now in the landslide zone area,” Grimaudo said.

The follow-up meeting comes almost 20 months after the first information session in September 2012 confirmed that a large number of homes that border the Quinchien River are within a designated landslide risk area.

Residents recently began pressing Grimaudo at recent council meetings to explain why there was such a long delay in having the report prepared and released. Grimaudo replied that he had no control over the preparation of the report and that he was also anxiously awaiting its release.

The announcement that the MTQ report’s findings will finally be released next week has not eased Chaline Valley residents’ concerns. “I’m a little apprehensive about it,” said resident Richard Meades. “It leads me to believe that maybe the situation is even more dangerous than they first thought.”

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