Letter to the editor 4, April 15, 2021
Saint-Lazare mayor tries to have it both ways
I want to congratulate the Saint-Lazare council for the adoption of By-law 1095 which serves to protect the deep interior forests. This by-law is very important not only to protect trees, but also to maintain biodiversity, protect green corridors and to ensure the sustainability of our underground water sources. But I have great concerns with the message Mayor Robert Grimaudo pushed during the council meeting. A resident asked what his position was on this by-law since he refused to give his position at the March council meeting. In one sentence he responds that he sides with the majority of the citizens and hopes that our children and grandchildren will enjoy these forests as we do today, while in the next sentence he strongly emphasizes that no by-law is written in stone, and proceeds to invite landowners and developers in these sectors under 1095 to submit their plans for review! This basically insinuates that by-laws don’t really mean much as future councils can change them. This is not a very reassuring message for those who are in support of the protection of our forests. He’s definitely sending a mixed message to the residents of Saint-Lazare.
Mayor Grimaudo, a self-professed environmentalist who approved the Place Verde (among others) development in wetlands and called it a win-win for future homeowners and the environment, is trying to look like he supports the majority of the residents, all the while placating landowners who wish to develop these forested areas. Perhaps he’s already in election mode, which would explain his motives for trying to play both sides. Is he for the protection of our last important forests in the urban parameter or is he for development within those forests? Which one is it? Thankfully the residents of Saint-Lazare are not fooled by this political hypocrisy!