Montreal’s $6-billion light rail transit project has Kirkland property owners on edge

Click to play video: 'Kirkland residents raise questions about Montreal’s electric train' Kirkland residents raise questions about Montreal’s electric train
Emotions ran high as hundreds of residents packed into the Kirkland Sports Complex to learn more about Montreal's $6-billion light rail transit project on Wednesday – May 25, 2017

Residents and business owners in the Town of Kirkland are wondering whether their properties will be expropriated as Montreal embarks on a $6-billion light rail project that is the city’s biggest transit initiative since the Métro.

Emotions ran high as hundreds of residents packed into the Kirkland Sports Complex to learn more about the project on Wednesday.

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Kirkland Mayor Michel Gibson said the town had to make a decision: “object to the project, knowing full well that it would materialize, or take part in the negotiation process.”

He told the crowd that the town chose to negotiate in order to protect its interests.

The town’s official stance is that it is not looking to remove businesses that are thriving in the community. Homeowners will have to wait to find out how many residences could be affected.

READ MORE: Proposed Montreal electric train project growing in size and cost

Still, Kirkland residents remain divided on the project.

Angie Drakopoulos told Global News that she’s in favor of anything that will make the commute downtown easier, especially as her children will start university soon.

Rammie Kamal said his main concern is that the train will be noisy at night.

An artist’s rendition of the proposed light rail transit system for Montreal. CDPQ Infra inc.

The light rail transit project is expected to be completed by 2020.

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The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec will contribute $3 billion, with the rest of the money coming from the provincial and federal governments.

Quebec’s National Assembly is determined to see the project realized quickly. Members tabled a bill earlier this month that would prevent property owners from contesting expropriations.

The next meeting is a public consultation that will take place on June 14.

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