Federal Green Party candidate supports preservation of Pincourt’s Rousseau Wetlands
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Vaudreuil-Soulanges federal Green Party candidate Cameron Stiff (left) and provincial Green Party leader Alex Tyrrell tour the Rousseau Wetlands in Pincourt last Thursday, August 22. They have called on the municipality to preserve the wetlands – also known as Place Pierre Brunet – which is regarded as the last significant forested area adjacent to the Ottawa River.
Vaudreuil-Soulanges Green Party member Cameron Stiff - who recently announced his candidacy in the upcoming federal election – voiced his support for the environmental group Pincourt Vert and their ongoing efforts to preserve the Rousseau Wetlands during a press conference outside the entrance to the forest on Place Rousseau in Pincourt last Thursday afternoon, August 22.
“One of the main topics in the media right now is the burning of the Amazon rain forest,” Stiff told The Journal. “The world’s greatest forest is on fire right now and here we are in sort of a microcosm of a situation where we have a small little forest that has all kinds of important ecosystem services at risk of development. The preservation of the forest is very important to the people who live around here.”
‘Everyone has the right to green space’
Pincourt Vert members have spent the past 15 months actively trying to get the municipality to permanently disallow any development in the wetlands in favour of permanent preservation. They claim it’s the last significant green space close to the Ottawa River and an important rest stop for migratory birds. The wetlands also boast a diverse ecosystem of flora, fauna and wildlife.
“This issue at large speaks to the need of our society right now to think about the big picture about how we live on the Earth,” said Stiff. “I’m not against housing developments but I think it needs to be carefully thought through. Everyone has the right to green space. We have to think about the role that forests play in providing ecosystem services.”
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
The City of Pincourt is awaiting the biologist’s report it commissioned from engineering firm WSP to determine whether it will allow a proposed 45-single family housing project to proceed in the Rousseau Wetlands, also known as Place Pierre Brunet.
Green spaces under attack
Stiff first became aware of the issue when some members of Pincourt Vert recently met with him to discuss the situation.
“They came to my campaign launch last month in Hudson. They showed me the study they had done regarding the wetlands. I salute this group for the effort they’re making to get everyone to think and talk about this issue to protect the limited green space we have left,” he said.
Alex Tyrrell, leader of the Quebec Green Party, was also present at the press conference and supports the preservation of the Rousseau Wetlands, also known as Place Pierre Brunet.
“As somebody who grew up the West Island I’ve seen this area become developed over the last 25 years. Green spaces are also under attack all over the Island of Montreal and its surrounding areas,” said Tyrrell.
“Here we have this relatively large forest that is right on the waterfront. It’s one of the last remaining forests around here. It’s really important for the municipality and the provincial government to step in and make sure areas like this are protected. I call on the City of Pincourt to take another look at what the citizens are saying and to consider their arguments,” Tyrrell added.
45 single-family housing units
The fate of the wetlands will be determined within the next couple of months after officials review a biologist’s report that is being prepared for the municipality by engineering firm WSP. The development consortium of Habitations Raymond Allard and Les Habitations Sylvain Ménard Inc. is planning to clear-cut the forest and build 45 single-family housing units.
The consortium launched legal action against Pincourt for not issuing the required permits that would have allowed construction to begin even though Groupe Allard-Ménard received the necessary certificate from the provincial environment ministry which allows them to proceed with their project.