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New bylaw will protect more greenspace in Montreal metropolitan area

Click to play video: 'West Island mayors welcome new interim bylaw to further protect greenspace'
West Island mayors welcome new interim bylaw to further protect greenspace
WATCH: The Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM), a group of more than 80 municipalities, has adopted an interim control bylaw to protect more greenspace in the greater Montreal area. As global’s Elizabeth Zogalis reports, it's a move some West Island mayors say will help in the fight to preserve land that is currently threatened by development – Jun 16, 2022

The Montreal Metropolitan Community Council has adopted an interim control bylaw to protect more greenspace in greater Montreal.

The bylaw comes just weeks after an intergovernmental panel on climate change called on the city of Montreal and the surrounding areas to protect between 30-50 per cent of land and water by 2030 to decrease the devastating effects of climate change.

The goal is to protect existing greenspace and develop more.

Minister responsible for Montreal, Chantal Rouleau, says this bylaw is very important for protecting the environment.

There are 33,000 hectares under protection. The bylaw will  add more than 20,000 hectares, says Rouleau.

Read more: Fairview forest one step closer to protection from future development

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Mayors across the region are on board, especially those who are battling to protect their own greenspace.

“It adds credibility to what we’re doing and what we’re fighting for,” says Pointe-Claire Mayor Tim Thomas. “It shows that other levels of government, higher levels, people all over the Quebec region support what we’re doing.”

In October 2020, Cadillac Fairview announced a plan to turn the majority of the Fairview forest and nearby area into a downtown West Island. It’s something Thomas has managed to stop, at least for now.

“It helps and reinforces our protection of greenspace, our ability to slow down the development at the expense of greenspace,” he said. “It gives credibility, added ammunition, it also gives us legal protection.”

Read more: Judge temporarily halts road project near Montreal due to endangered frog

Next door in Kirkland, Mayor Michel Gibson said the community is currently looking at redeveloping a piece of land and turning it into a park.

“It’s federally owned and we would like to acquire it. This will help us to put our offer in,” said Gibson.

The Montreal Metropolitan Community Council is also asking the Quebec government for $100 million in funding to set up a new axis of the green and blue infrastructure funding program, which encourages sustainable development in the greater Montreal area.

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