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Battle over wetland at Saint-Laurent’s Technoparc goes to court

Click to play video: 'Green coalition asks for Technoparc injunction' Green coalition asks for Technoparc injunction
WATCH ABOVE: The Green Coalition is asking for an injunction to stop developments near endangered bird species in the area. Global's Felicia Parrillo reports – Sep 23, 2016

The wetland at Saint-Laurent’s Technoparc is home to dozens of species of birds. But recently, heavy equipment moved in to develop part of the land; something environmental groups aren’t happy about.

“Canadian law says that anytime you find a nest and there have been nests been reported and recorded, there should be a perimeter, of minimum – and I stress minimum – of 500 metres,” Don Hobus, from the Sierra Club, said.

READ MORE: Sierra Club Quebec opposes any development to Technoparc Montreal marsh

To make its voice heard, the group took its argument to court, where it has asked for the judge to order an injunction to halt development at the Technoparc.

Environmentalists argue they want a buffer zone to protect an endangered bird called the Least Bittern.

Quebec Green Party leader Alex Tyrrell said both the federal and provincial governments need to do more toprotect wetlands.

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“We have endangered species of birds in very large numbers,” Tyrrell said.”It’s really unacceptable that the city of Montreal, the Quebec government and the government of Canada are permitting this development to take place.”

The Technoparc plans to build a dike to support existing water levels and a new walkway along a levee.

Officials from the Technoparc told Global News the expansion will not hurt the environment.

They’ve even halted construction, out of good faith they say, until the court comes to a decision.

Bird lovers hope that decision will put the environment first.

“Birds throughout North America in the last 100 years are losing beautiful habitat,” birdwatcher Joel Coutu said.

“So for once, we need to step up and protect. Birds can’t speak for themselves, so we have to.”

While both sides were expecting a decision on the injunction Friday, the judge presiding over the case said she’ll need more time to go over all the information that was presented.

She hopes to come to a decision on Monday.

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