Brief presented by Martina Hoft, Coordinator of the « Comité pour Anse‐à‐l’Orme »
99 Rue Ste‐Anne, Ste‐Anne‐de‐Bellevue, H9X 1L9 ‐ Tel.: 514‐206‐2589
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Dear Madam, Sir,
We strongly support the creation of the Green and Blue Belt of Greater Montreal. We are especially concerned
about 95 ha located in the northern sector of Ste‐Anne‐de‐Bellevue, which consists of a mosaic of regenerating
fields, wetlands, mature maple and cedar forest. The area borders the only watercourse qualifying as “river” on
the Island of Montreal, the Anse‐ à‐ l’Orme River, which flows into the Lake of Two Mountains. Combining both
essential “green” and “blue” space, we are convinced that this crucial area has to be included in its entirety in a
Green and Blue Belt for Greater Montreal.
Recently about one third (i.e. 31 ha) of the area has been acquired by the MDDEP, after years of tedious
negotiations between the city of Ste‐Anne‐de‐Bellevue, the City of Montreal, the Société générale de financement
(now Investissement Québec), the MDEIE and the MDDEP. We welcome the agreement as a step in the right
direction and seek explicit assurance that this part be included in the Green and Blue Belt for Greater Montreal.
While aware that part the of remaining 64 ha have been sold to a developer thereby creating accomplished facts
despite large scale citizen protest, we continue to demand that in addition the remaining 64 ha are included in the
plans for a viable Green and Blue Belt.
We would consider such a step as a meaningful investment into the future of our children and grandchildren, given
the fact that clean and healthy natural space right there, where they live is essential to health and spiritual
development. Far too long have ”investment” and “development” been understood as monetary return on
monetary investment, without the environmental costs, the loss of species and the network of living connections
ever figuring in the balance sheets of municipalities. Not only do we support and demand the creation of a viable
network of green and blue spaces in the Greater Montreal Area, we demand that at the same time the rampant
ad hoc sales to developers are being checked in favor of future‐oriented landscape planning that takes into
account the connectivity of green and blue spaces. By integrating the entire 95 ha in Northern Ste‐Anne into the
proposed Green and Blue Belt, the already established network of nature parks around that area, i.e. Parc agricole
Bois de la Roche to the North, Angell Woods to the South and Parc Nature Anse‐à‐l’Orme to the Est, would be
completed by substantial protection of the Anse‐à‐l’Orme River to the West.
The inherent necessity to leave the last remaining natural spaces in the Greater Montreal area intact and to
reconnect what has been lost, is derived from our acknowledgement that habitat fragmentation is the main cause
of loss of biodiversity. Wildlife increasingly rare elsewhere on the Island of Montreal, is found in the area such as:
the red backed salamander, map turtle and snapping turtle, milk snake and brown snake, over 100 resident and
migratory bird species, the last resident deer population and fisher. Rare plant species include Black Maple, White
oak, Hackberry, Water Speedwell and a tiny fern called Little Goblin Moonwort.
Only if large enough natural and semi‐natural areas are left intact and (re‐)connected can the viability of precious
ecosystems in the Greater Montreal area be ensured. In the face of large‐scale biodiversity loss, climate change
and unrelenting human population pressure, the importance of a network of green and blue spaces in mega cities
such as Montreal cannot be overstated.
Thank you for hearing me,