• John Jantak

New land acquisition expands Ste. Anne’s L’Anse-à-l’Orme nature reserve to 70 hectares


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Ste. Anne de Bellevue Mayor Paola Hawa at the Monday evening council meeting on June 11. Council unanimously adopted a resolution regarding the endorsement of two letters signed in May by Hawa to proceed with the acquisition of 14 hectares of land to expand the L’Anse-à-l’Orme nature park in north sector of the town.

Ste. Anne de Bellevue’s commitment to enlarge the L’Anse-à-l’Orme nature park moved forward with council’s endorsement of two letters signed in May by Mayor Paola Hawa to proceed with the acquisition of 14 hectares of land to expand the L’Anse-à-l’Orme nature park in the north sector.

The endorsement was approved at the June 11 council meeting. It ended a contentious $35 million legal battle that was launched against the city by Développement Immobilier Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue (DISAB) which sold the land for $9.5 million to the Montreal agglomeration.

Conservation commitment

It also begins a new chapter for Ste. Anne’s regarding the city’s commitment to preserve another 14 hectares of green space in the north sector. “I’m ecstatic about it,” Mayor Paola Hawa told The Journal. “I’ve been working towards this for a long time. Ever since I came onto council in 2009, you’re looking at 70 hectares in total that have been saved so far.”

She’s also grateful to the residents who supported her preservation stance. “Thank goodness for the citizens of Ste. Anne’s who did not fall for that fear-mongering regarding the $35 million lawsuit against the city and what would happen if we didn’t allow DISAB to get their way,” said Hawa.

“They saw right through that and did the right thing. They trusted me that I was telling them the truth and that we were going to pull out of it fine. This is exactly what happened. We pulled out of it more than fine. Thank you citizens of Ste. Anne’s,” said Hawa.

‘Other cities can do their share’

When asked whether the entire L’Anse-à-l’Orme corridor has been saved, Hawa replied, “It depends on who you speak with. If you ask some of the green groups like the Green Coalition and the Suzuki Foundation, they’ll say we should still be preserving areas south of the hydro line and north of Chemin Ste. Marie. They would say we need to protect that also.”

Other municipalities have to share the responsibility to preserve the remaining green spaces in their districts, said Hawa. “If you ask me in terms of Ste. Anne’s, we’ve done more than our fair share of preserving portions of L’Anse-à-l’Orme within our territory,” she said.

“It’s now time for other cities to do their share for the benefit of the entire Island of Montreal and everybody’s quality of life and respect for the environment,” added Hawa

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

Braerob farmhouse

While the portion of land around the former Braerob farmhouse will be developed in accordance with the city’s urban development plan, Hawa said Ste. Anne’s is still adamant about preserving the remains of the farmhouse.

“As part of the deal with Montreal which we deposited yesterday, Montreal will also be doing other acquisitions and as part of that deal, the responsibility for Ste. Anne’s will be to either restore or renovate the Braerob farmhouse,” said Hawa.

“It could be as simple as keeping the original four stone walls and building somethi