Stand up for our right to sleep!

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Imagine sleeping 8 hours a night in the peace and comfort of your home, when one day, jackhammers start working around the clock in your neighbourhood. You can’t sleep for two weeks straight.

(French version here)

That’s what has happened in southwest Montreal in the area known as Cote-Saint-Paul. Since February 15, 2019, the extreme noise of jackhammers demolishing the Turcot interchange has permeated the double-glazed windows and the concrete of apartment buildings, keeping people up all night, every night -- 15 consecutive days of sleep deprivation at the time of this writing.

HOLD MINISTER BONNARDEL AND TRANSPORTS QUÉBEC RESPONSIBLE. ADD YOUR NAME TO THIS PETITION.

Since February 15, 2019, I’ve been sleeping on our bathroom floor. It’s horrible, but it’s the difference between 0 hours of sleep and a couple of hours of sleep. Gone are my nightly 8 hours. My health and my work are suffering. And I am not alone.

Others in my building and buildings in the neighbourhood (even as far as Atwater) say they’ve also been deprived of sleep. Some dwellings are even closer to the noise of the demolition. Pregnant women, students, people recovering from illness, young children, and all adults – everyone in this area who is unable to sleep because of the noise is affected. (Here's a daytime video showing the noise we're hearing all night.)

THE SOLUTION

The solution is simple: schedule operations to allow people in the area normal sleeping hours.

Yet, the Quebec Ministry of Transport (MTQ) refuses to do so. When I informed them of the sleep deprivation problem, they responded with (polite) bureaucratic insensitivity. (See below the full response from a Mme. Sophie Juneau of the MTQ.) They have taken no responsibility for sleep deprivation and offer no remedy. Instead, they have posted notices in dwellings around the operation in southwest Montreal, telling us they are aware of the “inconvenience” caused by the noise, and that it will continue through April.

PROTEST THIS INHUMAN TREATMENT OF REGULAR PEOPLE BY TRANSPORTS QUÉBEC. ADD YOUR NAME TO THIS PETITION.

Loss of sleep is not a mere “inconvenience”. It is a serious health threat. The Canadian Sleep Society, a group of medical and research experts on sleep, says:

"Insufficient sleep, even on a single night, has a number of immediate consequences including lower alertness, negative mood, reduced motor and visual acuity, longer response times, and impaired attention and memory. Chronic sleep restriction over days and weeks leads to cumulative deficits in alertness, mood and cognitive performance. As well, insufficient sleep can have long-term consequences for health including weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease."

What’s worse, prolonged sleep deprivation is classified by psychologists as a form of torture.

  • STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHT TO SLEEP.
  • STAND UP FOR YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS.
  • STAND UP FOR THE ELDERLY, THE YOUNG AND THE SICK.
  • ADD YOUR NAME NOW.
  • HOLD MINISTER BONNARDEL, TRANSPORTS QUÉBEC, AND THE TURCOT PROJECT TEAM RESPONSIBLE. 

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Response from MTQ to my complaint (translated from original French)

"We have read your complaint about the dismantling work in your area.

Since mid-February, work has actually intensified in the Lachine Canal and Saint-Patrick Street sectors. The structures to be dismantled in this area are located very close to the new traffic lanes. For safety reasons, Highway 15 must be closed during certain operations. This work is then done at night and at the end of the week. These dismantling operations should be completed by the end of March.

The dismantling work south of Saint-Patrick Street should be done mainly by day, according to the current planning, because the structures to be dismantled are further away from the new traffic lanes.

The height of the structures to be dismantled also considerably limits the mitigation measures that can be implemented. However, this is essential work to be done in order to continue the project.

Decommissioning operations are noisy in nature. Whether or not they exceed the permitted sound levels, these are sounds we do not usually hear on a daily basis. However, according to the sound readings, the noise levels respect the authorized thresholds in the sector.

The Ministry and KPH Turcot are aware that this work can cause inconvenience to residents, but it is essential work in the continuation of the project.

If you would like to contact the Turcot Project team again, please...use the address turcot.commentaires@transports.gouv.qc.ca. By using this address, you are assured that someone from the team will take care of your request."

 



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