PIERREFONDS-ROXBORO – On the courthouse steps Monday morning, a group opposing a development in Pierrefonds took their fight to a new level.
“We’ve deposited an injunction with the courts last Thursday morning,” said Donald Hobus, with the Sauvons l’Anse-à-l’Orme group.
“It essentially asks the courts that the government, Minister of Transport, Minister of Environment and the City of Montreal be forced to respect the law and that’s something they have not done.”
The group objects a plan to develop over 5,000 homes on the forest and wetlands near the l’Anse-à-l’Orme Nature Park.
They insist the land is home to a variety of wildlife that would be devastated by the plan.
“I think they deserve a little bit of respect too,” said Hobus.
“If we don’t fight for them, who will?”
The lawsuit states that roadwork has already been executed in support of the private development project and in doing so, the city broke the law.
“When you build in wetlands, you need a certificate of authorization, under the Quebec Environmental Quality Act and that was not done,” said Ricardo Hrtschan, the lawyer handling the lawsuit.
“So, we ask for the land be restored to its natural habitat.”
Legacy Montreal, an organization dedicated to the legal defense of the environment, is also part of the lawsuit.
It maintains the area should be protected.
“We hope that they’ll order the city and the province to vacate the area,” said Stephanie Hewson, from Legacy Montreal.
“We hope that they’ll order them to remediate the area and restore it to its natural condition.”
The lawsuit asks that the city not only be evicted from the area, but that it be ordered to assume the costs of rehabilitating the land.
“Contrary to what many people think – that you can’t fight city hall,” said Hobus.
“Well, I think we can fight. If we stand up, we could do it and we’re going to do it.”