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Green party leader weighs in on Montreal sewage dump update

Environment Canada is expected to provide a response by Tuesday over Montreal's plan to dump eight billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River.

MONTREAL – There are new developments surrounding Montreal’s plan to dump eight billion litres of wastewater into the St. Lawrence River.

Mayor Denis Coderre’s office has announced that, as of Friday night, Environment Canada received all the City’s relevant documentation to go ahead as planned. The Mayor’s office expects to hear back from Ottawa by Tuesday.

READ MORE: Documents show Environment Canada knew about Montreal raw-sewage plan in 2014

This morning, Green party leader Elizabeth May weighed in on the controversy.

“We need to be sure that we are treating the St. Lawrence River with the respect it deserves. We don’t want it turned into a highway for oil and gas pipelines and we don’t want it to become a sewer again,” says May.

However, May noted she understands that Mayor Coderre was placed in a difficult position.

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“But I sympathize with the government of Montreal because I realize that the City was looking for help from Environment Canada. Environment Canada gave them no help. And then the Minister of the Environment decides to attack him?”

READ MORE: Federal government speaks out against Montreal sewage dump

When asked whether the Green party had any solution to problem, May deferred to her Deputy leader, Daniel Green.

“We can easily cut the discharge in half,” says Green.

He notes that some sewage can be discharged, but only in February 2016, when the weather is cold enough to kill certain bacteria that could potentially make people sick.

“What we are asking the federal government is to provide excess federal lands to put the snow for 2016 so the City of Montreal doesn’t have to hurry up to build the snow shoot,” says Green.

“The federal government must help the City of Montreal make the right choices.”

He added that he hopes Environment Canada will collaborate with the city and help them find a better solution.