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Conservation group raises concerns over proposed mask-making plant in Dorval green space

Click to play video: 'Conservation groups concerned about proposed PPE-making plant in Dorval' Conservation groups concerned about proposed PPE-making plant in Dorval
WATCH: Plans are in the works for a new surgical mask-making plant to be built near Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. But the proposed site to build the personal protective equipment gear is stirring controversy. As Global’s Tim Sargeant reports, environmental groups are concerned that the new industrial complex would be built on a large piece of green space. – Jun 29, 2021

A conservation group is sounding the alarm over the site of a proposed manufacturing plant to make inner filters of surgical and N95-type respiratory masks.

Medicom’s manufacturing subsidiary, Meltech Innovation Canada, is considering building its plant on a parcel of green space northwest of the Trudeau airport in Dorval.

“It’s certainly not against Medicom as a company or against the idea of development in general. It’s specifically the idea of developing over green space in Montreal when we have so few green spaces left,” Katherine Collin, of the Technoparc Oiseaux conservation group, told Global News.

Collin fears that some natural habitats, including those of monarch butterflies and short-eared owls, are already dwindling and the new plant will further put these species at risk.

Read more: Nature Conservancy of Canada asking residents to participate in No Mow May

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“It’s not a single species we’re aiming to protect. It’s the interconnectedness,” she said.

The proposed building would go up just south of Aviation Street and take up 4,000 square metres. The total footprint would be 15,500 square metres. A government of Canada webpage says “No wetlands, waterways, sensitive species or habitats or protected zones are present on the site.”

And in an email to Global News, Gayle Padvaiskas, vice-president of marketing at Medicom, writes, “we have not confirmed nor signed off on any site for our new raw material subsidiary.” The company says it plans to “protect the environment and biodiversity, regardless of the site selected.”

The Aéroports de Montréal is inviting the public to participate in public consultations that are being held until the end of July.

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