Pincourt aims to preserve natural environments and increase protected spaces
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Pincourt Councillor Denise Bergeron signs her name onto the town’s sustainable development policy as she’s watched by Councillor Sam Ierfino (left), Councillor Claudine Girouard-Morel, Mayor Yvan Cardinal and Councillor Alexandre Wolford. Councillors Diane Boyer and René Lecavalier were unable to attend the launch of the policy but signed their names onto the document afterwards.
The Town of Pincourt announced it will maintain or increase its proportion of protected green spaces, preserve natural environments, increase the number of trees (forest cover) and encourage citizen initiatives in urban agriculture as it unveiled its first sustainable development policy during a public presentation at the Omni-Centre last Wednesday, June 5.
The presentation impressed Shelagh McNally, a spokesperson for the newly formed non-profit environmental group Pincourt Vert whose members have been trying the save the Rousseau Forest from development for more than one year now. The group regards the forest as the last wetland in Pincourt on the Ottawa River. McNally also participated in the policy consultation process.
‘A thorough presentation’
“It was a very thorough presentation. The town obviously took to heart what the citizens were saying. It’s a very ambitious plan. I’m hoping that they can follow through on it particularly around the environment,” McNally told The Journal after the meeting.
“It’s great. I think the town is showing a real commitment to do something more sustainable. The difference is between actions and words. This is crucial. I think we all realize we’re at a crossroads and it’s time for action. It really shows the way forward. It will be an exciting time to see how the city, in conjunction with the citizens, puts this plan into action. This will determine its success,” said McNally.
Commitment to the environment
She’s optimistic the town will follow-up on its commitment to the environment. “I think the signs are there that we really don’t have a lot of time and need to act. It’s good to see the city taking this plan of action and showing they are thinking about the future. We’re really doing this for our children,” said McNally.
Mayor Yvan Cardinal said he was satisfied by the participation of the town’s citizens in helping draft the policy. “I’m very happy and now the challenge will be to take action,” he said. Cardinal added the policy does not mention specific development projects such as Rousseau Forest.
The policy, which will involve the participation of the town’s elected municipal representatives, its employees and citizens, aims to create an attitude of commitment and responsibility towards the environment and social inclusiveness with a transparent and cooperative approach, while highlighting its culture, identity and multicultural heritage.
The different components of its new policy are in line with each of the six dimensions of sustainable development – ethics, culture, governance, economy, social and environment. During the consultation process participants selected five values to guide the town’s future actions – commitment, integrity, responsibility, collaboration and respect.
Led by Comité 21 Québec
The participants who helped draft the policy were led by Comité 21 Québec, a non-profit social economic organization whose mission is to accelerate the implementation of sustainable development with local economic participants and authorities using specific strategies aimed at achieving the desired goals.
The policy strives to ensure a quality living environment, the respect of natural environments and a diversified economy. The complete sustainable development policy is available on the town’s website at www.villepincourt.qc.ca/en/153/sustainable-development-policy.