• John Jantak

Sauvons L’Anse-à-l’Orme asks Ste. Anne council to leave woods intact


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Sauvons L’Anse-à-l’Orme members Donald Hobus and Patrick Barnard asked the Sainte Anne de Bellevue Mayor Paola Hawa to reconsider the city’s plans for possible development of portions of the L’Anse-à-l’Orme woods within its territory.

Two members of the Green Coalition made a plea to Ste. Anne de Bellevue Mayor Paola Hawa during the Monday evening council meeting July 13, asking the city to reconsider its plans for possible development of portions of the L’Anse-à-l’Orme woods within its territory. Green Coalition members Donald Hobus and Patrick Barnard, who are also part of a recently created group called Sauvons L’Anse-à-l’Orme which is dedicated to preserving the entire wooded area, said any kind of development will destroy the last remaining natural woodlands on the Island of Montreal. “What we’re basically saying that 100 per cent of that land has to be protected,” Hobus told Your Local Journal.

“We don’t want any development whatsoever.” Hobus is especially concerned about plans recently announced by the neighbouring Montreal borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro to build up to 6000 homes which he claims will have devastating environmental consequences on the entire region if the development is allowed to proceed. “L’Anse-à-l’Orme is a very important bird conservation area,” said Hobus. “We know there’s 160 different species of birds. There are deer and coyotes in the woods and we’ve seen a beaver lodge in the past.

“There’s a lot of natural wildlife in the woods and they deserve to be left alone,” Hobus added. “If we allow development, we don’t know what the impact would be on all these animals. It’s impossible to say whether they’ll survive and more than likely they won’t. There’s a good chance the deer herd will go into the residential areas.” Hobus said Sauvons L’Anse-àl’Orme has received a lot of support from Pierrefonds-Roxboro residents who want the woodlands to be kept intact. “People have been telling us they don’t want this development.

They enjoy walking in the woods and want it left alone.” Concerns have also been raised about whether it’s wise to develop the last remaining natural green area on the Island of Montreal. “If you look at a map of Montreal, there is no more green space left on the island,” said Hobus. “The city can say there are parks like Mount Royal and Lafontaine which are wonderful, but L’Anse-àl’Orme is the last and only true natural area that’s left.

“If it’s developed, there will be more problems with pollution and increased traffic and the new houses will create a heat island because they will absorb the heat, whereas the natural forest will act as a natural air conditioner and keep the area cooler,” Hobus added. Hawa said the city is committed to preserving the section of L’Anse-àl’Orme on its territory.

“We need all the municipalities that still have green space to consider preserving it” said Hawa. “We’ve more than demonstrated our commitment to preserving our quality of life, air and surroundings.

We definitely walk the talk when it comes to preserving green space. “Pierrefonds is a distinct borough as part of the City of Montreal,” Hawa added. “They have the tools and the legal authority to do with their territory as they wish, but it would have been nice if they could consider their neighbours in the development of their urban plan because it will have an effect on the entire region.”

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