NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice and St. Laurent MNA Marwah Rizqy are calling on Ottawa to preserve a greenspace northwest of Trudeau Airport.
The politicians reacted after the group TechnoparcOiseau announced that thousands of plants, including bushes and milkweed plants that monarch butterflies need to survive, had been mowed on the site, which is owned by the federal Transport ministry and leased to Aéroports de Montreal. They are calling for the lease to be changed so that the space can be protected, or that a federal park be created.
“While Quebecers were celebrating Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Aéroports de Montréal was mowing,” Rizqy told a press conference this past Tuesday. “Having walked in this area, I know there are really a lot of birds, a lot of biodiversity."
She added that the 19-hectare area that was mowed is part of a 200-hectare zone next to the airport that is as big as Mount Royal Park.
“It is one of the last fields and it acts to temper the heat islands that we observe everywhere in Montreal," the MNA said. "The federal government wants to create 15 parks per province by 2030, and for Montreal, this is the ideal place to do it, it is the last place where we can do it. If nothing is done, we will lose this opportunity."
Boulerice said Aeroports de Montréal's main mission is to manage Trudeau Airport.
"So find your passengers' luggage, and then take care of the wetlands and green spaces for the well-being of birds and monarch butterflies," he said.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra's office told the media that the Minister will hold a meeting with the airport to discuss the matter, and that Alghabra “has already written directly to the CEO of ADM to express his concerns, request details on the next steps in this file and reiterate the urgency of the situation. Our office does weekly follow-ups with ADM to learn about their plan and urge them to move forward on this file.”