Save Rigaud Mountain

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At this moment there is an enormous single family dwelling housing project taking place on the “second summit” of Rigaud Mountain. It is being built on a hiking trail, in the middle of a pristine forest where there were previously old ruins.

This petition asks that all levels of government that are able to stop this and other unsustainable building projects and developments, on Rigaud Mountain, do so immediately!

In addition to the nearly 1 000 square metres of trees and wildlife habitat that have been destroyed on this land, until recently, it was designated as ecologically sensitive.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of why this project should be stopped:

1.     According to the Green Coalition, "...Quebec’s Ministry of the Environment has admitted in open court that it has never refused a developer’s request for a Certificate of Authorization. NEVER!!"

2.     The large area of forest that was cut to build this house was deemed of high ecological value for years according to a neutral analysis ordered by the city. Construction is forbidden in such areas. References for these facts can be found in the RCI (Règlement de Contrôle Intérimaire). GPS testing confirmed that tree cutting was done en-masse in such areas. The RCI can be consulted here:

https://www.ville.rigaud.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/RCI-numerise.pdf

3.     The second summit can be seen here obviously in a red zone. 

https://www.ville.rigaud.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mont-Rigaud-Le-territoire-application-et-les-valeurs-ecologiques-2016-06-22-1024x717.jpg?fbclid=IwAR1UEmdeTOV02E2AfZ10bqCIHnYlQHX3prYeH-9_XhddEhNSdmiKCkLpDVk

4a.     In May, 2020 the RCI was modified, by the Mayor of Rigaud, to change the ecological value of some zones and allow construction in previously forbidden high ecological value zones. This was done without referendum. The modification can be found here: https://mrcvs.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/R%C3%A8glement-229-2-Mont-Rigaud-et-certificat-de-promulgation.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2n91jss6TycowdAWnzxbdhChdAHELYLsozNK2ZvVt_fVX-5JCnyK5yigI

4b. On October 6, 2020 the RCI was again modified, by the Mayor of Rigaud. In RCI 229-3, two more lots were added to the ten lots that had already been excluded from the protection of RCI 229. Immediately afterwards, construction and tree cutting started on the second summit of Mont Rigaud. If you search for the details of this RCI, you will find a public notice and no details of the RCI. Why not just publish the ACTUAL 2 page RCI 229-3 (which clearly identifies the construction site as being situated on land that is of "high ecological value"?  https://mrcvs.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Avis-public-RCI-229-3-Mont-Rigaud-site-web.pdf

What justification does the Rigaud Council have to question the integrity and accuracy of the initial, 2013, ecological assessment and to, instead, accept one provided by the developers, and remove these 12 lots from the protection of RCI 229, and allow their development?

5.     In 2018, the town of Rigaud adopted a Long Term Sustainability Plan. This development contradicts the goals and spirit of that plan.

Please sign this petition to support the creation of a protected nature park on Mont Rigaud. Mont Rigaud is the only expansive and pristine forested area on or near the island of Montreal. It is home to many species of plants and animals, including a white tailed deer population of over 200. The mountain has over 25 linear kilometres of trail network and is a popular hiking and cross country skiing area. With many trees, both deciduous and coniferous, over 80 years old, this area provides habitat for many animal species. As the only remaining, mostly intact, forest with close to 4300 hectares, it acts as the lungs for the surrounding area, including the island of Montreal. These trees have so many valuable functions. They provide oxygen, ensure a healthy water cycle – preserve groundwater supplies, prevent flooding, absorb pollutants, purify  air and water, prevent soil erosion, provide habitat for animals, provide canopy to prevent the “heat island” effect, absorb carbon dioxide that prevents global warming, and produce phytoncides which fight cancer and increase immune response.

Having access to wilderness areas has a multitude of health benefits to everyone who visits them.  Many studies have been released, recently, indicating that spending time in nature leads a multitude of benefits including: improved physical fitness, enhanced perceptual abilities; improved immune response; increased emotional stability; improved cognitive skills, improved sense of connectedness with the world; increased sense of meaning and purpose; improved social skills; and increased frequency and investment in Environmentally Responsible Behaviours.

Presently, much of the remaining forest on Rigaud Mountain is zoned for development. We ask that all deforestation on the mountain be halted immediately to allow for the creation of a nature park consisting of all remaining contiguous wilderness areas.

Mont Rigaud Zoning: https://www.ville.rigaud.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Rigaud_Plan_de_Zonage_275-2010_agglom_2018-03-29.pdf