Beaconsfield, Que. residents reject higher taxes to pay for sound wall

Click to play video: 'Survey says Beaconsfield residents not in favour of soundwall project'
Survey says Beaconsfield residents not in favour of soundwall project
After years of pressure and complaints, Beaconsfield's mayor commissioned a study that shows residents are not in favour of spending taxpayers' dollars on a noise barrier on the south side of Highway 20. What's more, he argues that if public health officials deem the sound of traffic in the area poses a health risk, then it should be up to the Quebec government to pay for a soundwall. Global’s Tim Sargeant reports – Aug 23, 2022

A Léger survey published on Aug. 8 shows a majority of residents of Beaconsfield, Que., don’t support paying more for a new sound barrier along Highway 20.

The Léger survey contacted 607 residents via telephone and another 61 (living on Beaurepaire and Sussex streets) filled out an online questionnaire. The survey was conducted between June 17 and June 28.

The survey concludes: “Citizens directly affected by the noise pollution are generally in favour of the proposed construction of a noise barrier on the south side of Highway 20, while other citizens (spread across the city’s six districts) continue to be unconvinced of the need for such a project, even though they generally feel well informed about this issue.”

One resident living on Beaurepaire Drive isn’t impressed with the results.

“This is a useless survey,” Michel Rheault told Global News.

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Rheault says the survey doesn’t factor the reduced quality of life and the public health impact the noise emitting from Highway 20 has on people living in the area.

He has written to both the health and transport ministers requesting the government pay the full cost of building a sound barrier.

“A noise barrier to protect us on both sides of the highway,” he said.

READ MORE: Sound wall continues to divide Beaconsfield residents

Transports Quebec has estimated the costs could reach $60 million and has agreed to cover 75 per cent of the expenses. Beaconsfield would be on the hook for the balance, a cost of about $15 million — an amount the mayor argues the city can’t afford.

Mayor Georges Bourelle has written to both the health and transport ministers to see if the noise is a public health issue.

“If there are health issues in Beaconsfield, it’s very clear, the MTQ (Ministère de Transports-Québec), or the provincial government has to put up a wall at its cost,” Bourelle said.

Until the government agrees to foot the entire bill or the city pays for some of the costs, residents will have to continue living with the noise emanating from the highway.

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