Electrical network metropolitan: the decision of the superior Court appealed from is

News 20 January, 2018
  • Photo courtesy

    Michel Bellemare

    Saturday, 20 January, 2018 18:08

    Saturday, 20 January, 2018 18:08

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    The citizens dismissed by the superior Court last December in a campaign to force the holding of consultations “appropriate and effective” on the project of the electrical Network, metropolitan (REM) have decided to bring the case on appeal.

    “The call will focus on errors of law seen in the previous judgment as well as on the apparent bias of the judge related to his comments on the way in which environmental laws represent a barrier to the development”, explained the applicants in a press release Friday.

    “We do appeal from the judgment of December, because we think that the judgment is biased and contrary to the law and that we must hold the government accountable to abide by its own citizens and to meet its environmental obligations, economic and legal,” said Alison Hackney, a citizen involved in the pursuit.

    “It is very important and we are determined to carry the fight until the end”, she added.

    In its approach, the group argues that “the government Couillard is obliged by law to treat its citizens with honour and good faith, and that this involves appropriate consultations and effective on what the liberals are promoting as “the largest public transportation project in the last 50 years””.

    “[…], people have asked the parliamentary hearings, public hearings, and competent professionals to examine and evaluate all the studies and all the work done by the groups and entities of public transport over the past thirty years,” said John Symon, another of the citizens involved.

    “The liberals have rejected any notion of transparency and good government with the REM. […] The facts indicate that the government has adopted a new approach and an aggressive, imposing its authority on the population and demonstrating a total disregard for our public institutions such as the BAPE, CPTAQ and the national Assembly. If this is not the tribunal, where can we ask for justice to be restored?”, he continued.

    In his judgment, in December, the superior Court had given reason to the defendants, the prime minister Philippe Couillard and the minister, David Heurtel, and that CDPQ INFRA, a subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which manages the project for the REM, arguing essentially that this is not his role to interfere in a policy decision.

    At the outset, the applicants were made up of five citizens (Alex Turcotte, Marie-Claire Mayeres, Rosalie Laframboise, Alison Hackney, and John Symon) and a non-profit organization, the Climate Coalition Montreal. The latter is withdrawn and is not part of the appeal. It has been replaced by a sixth citizen, Matthew Chapman.

    The REM, once completed, would have a length of 67 km and include 27 stations serving the city centre of Montreal, the west island, Montréal-Trudeau airport, the South Shore and the North Shore (Two-Mountains). Its commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2020. The project is of the order of $6 billion.