Pointe des Cascades canal clean-up
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Th e MTQ says it’s analyzing the accumulation of litter at the third set of locks in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges canal in Pointe des Cascades and will decide how to safely proceed with cleaning it up.
The April 20 rescue of a woman and her dog who took an unexpected fall into the Soulanges Canal in Pointe des Cascades highlighted a pre-existing problem – a buildup of litter in the form of discarded plastic, Styrofoam, and even a rusting propane tank lie floating against the third set of locks in the 23-kilometre long waterway.
“It’s unacceptable that it’s gotten to this point,” said Pointe des Cascades firefighter Mike Lavigne who was in the water during the rescue operation. “Our town simply does not have the budget to do that kind of (clean-up) work.” The debris has accumulated against Lock #3 in the 23-kilometre long abandoned shipping canal that extends through to Valleyfield. And though most canals fall under federal jurisdiction, Vaudreuil-Soulanges NDP MP Jamie Nicholls said with the exception of the locks at Coteau Landing, maintenance of the Soulanges canal is the responsibility of the provincial government.
“It’s a beautiful area and the fi shing is great,” said Lavigne. “We’ve seen all kinds of waterfowl but how long is it going to last when the water is getting worse and worse?” Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) spokesperson Martin Girard told Your Local Journal June 12 that the area would be inspected and evaluated by ministry employees to determine how to proceed with the clean-up. “They need the proper equipment to ensure that it’s safe to intervene and clean the area.”
Girard could not provide an exact date for the clean-up but confirmed it’s on the ministry’s agenda.