A coalition of environmentalists and concerned citizens have launched the first legal challenge to the Caisse de Depot’s proposed electric train network.
Lawyer Ricardo Hrtschan filed for a declaratory judgement. If successful Quebec’s pension fund will have to restart the consultation phase.
Lisa Mintz, and environmental activist and opponent to the electric train, said they weren’t satisfied with the first round of hearings.
Environmentalists claim the pension fund was not transparent enough with its environmental assessment.
“What is this going to do to the land around it and what is it going to do to urban sprawl,” Mintz said. “None of these things have been presented.”
With the motion filed, Hrtschan also planned on challenging the provincial government’s support of the train.
Last January, Premier Philip Couillard came out in favour of the project despite the BAPE’s refusal to support the proposed train network.
According to Hrtschan, the government isn’t acting in the best interest of citizens.
“It just shows that the members of national assembly have their hands tied by a commercial agreement,” Hrtschan said. “That’s not our democracy that’s not our Quebec.”
The 6 billion dollar project is expected to receive governmental funding this year.
But environmentalists say the train plan is moving ahead too quickly and details are murky.
But Saint Laurent mayor Alan DeSousa doesn’t buy they’re reasons for a legal challenge.
“Are we in favour, do we want to see the project go through, is it a good one? I think the answer is yes. But can it be improved? Cleary there’s ways, and I’m counting on the Caisse de Depot to bring the biggest possible consensus.”
DeSousa’s borough is slated to have six stations built.
He believes legal interference could derail the project.
“It’ll have the impact of really slowing down, if not stopping the entire process,” De Sousa said.
Environmentalists added they are all for public transit, so long as the process in which the network will be built changes.
The Caisse de Depot refused Global News’ request for an interview.