A green space on Concordia University’s Loyola campus has been the subject of controversy in the borough of Côtes-des-Neiges-NDG.
Some NDG residents are concerned that a new university building would take up the field located next to the school’s science building and Hingston residence hall.
The $52-million building would be a state-of-the-art research space.
“We like a green Concordia and this campus is a green campus,” Irwin Rapoport, NDG resident, said. “If they develop any more of its green space it loses that status.”
The land is owned by Concordia and the borough has voted in favour of the project.
“No trees are going to be cut down,” Russell Copeman, Côtes-des-Neiges-NDG borough mayor, said. “It takes up a very small amount of the overall green space of a field that was not particularly well used.”
According to Rapoport, about 88 people signed a petition to open a register in hopes of eventually holding a referendum.
Rapoport says he would like for the location of the project to change and he says in August he was told that a referendum on the project would be possible.
“Côte-des-Neiges councillor Magda Popeanu, she says ‘yes you can have a referendum the law doesn’t take effect just yet,'” Rapoport said.
Copeman told Global News on Monday that a referendum, in this case, wouldn’t be possible because of Bill 122, which does not allow referendums to be held on collective equipment such as educational facilities.
“What is known as collective equipment that is to say equipment belonging to public bodies such as Concordia University … are no longer subject to the referendum process,” Copeman said. “The petition which we received about 10 days ago cannot be acted on by virtue of provincial legislation.”
Concordia University says they will continue complying with the law.
If all goes in favour, construction will begin in Spring of 2018.
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