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Objective: To obtain conservation status for the SGF (Société Générale de Financement) land situated in the northern sector of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue
1. Lobbying and awareness
2. Anse à l'Orme biodiversity profile
3. Input into future park planning
4. Rehabilitation of the Anse à l'Orme river ecosystem
The Comité pour Anse-à-l’Orme was formed in March 2010 after some background research and obtaining documents under the Access to Information Act regarding discussions/decisions among ministries about the Anse-à-l’Orme eco-territory since 2002. The objective was to obtain the conservation of about 95 ha of land situated in the Northern Sector of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue and belonging to the Société générale de financement SGF, an independent branch of the Ministry of Economics (MDEIE).
Data from various sources have been collected regarding ecological value and species’ diversity in the area but have not been put together in a comprehensive way.
Timeline of critical events and actions:
2000: The SGF obtains land in the Northern Sector of Ste-Anne through a bankruptcy sale for 5,5 mio dollars;
June 2010: Public call for tenders for about 95 ha situated in the Northern Sector of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue and belonging to the SGF;
June 2010: The City of Ste-Anne puts a moratorium in place that prohibits any change of zoning or development in the area (Résolution de contrôle intérimaire) and at the same time publishes a map that outlines an area of about 37 ha to be protected;
August 2010: Conservation claim staking by concerned citizens and outreach to SGF and ministries to express our dismay at this decision; See some of the media coverage:
Summer 2010: Ste-Anne lobbies politicians at the provincial level to secure 37 ha for conservation;
September 2010: Follow-up with Ministry of Finances, MDEIE and MDDEP to secure ALL the land for conservation, as it had been promised some time ago;
November 2010: Petition to the city of de Ste-Anne to change the zoning in order to allow for the protection of about 45ha, rather than only 37ha of the land; Mobilisation of citizens to urge the MDEIE to hand over the land to the Minisrty of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parcs (MDDEP); Edition of a letter to the Minister of Finances, Raymond Bachand, asking him to protect without delay the land in the l'Anse-à-l'Orme corridor;
December 2010: SGF sells everything south of the power line to Grilli for 17 mio dollars;Action to mobilize the citizens of Ste-Anne Nord;
April 2011: SGF becomes Investissement Québec (IQ);
May 2011: Environment Follow-up with SGF/IQ to keep the remaining landnorth of the power line and donate it for conservation;
August 2011 : The MDDEP acquires 31 ha from IQ in the northern secteur of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue for conservation to enlarge the existing Anse-à l'Orme Nature Park;
December 2011: Ste-Anne changes zoning of from “industrial” to “residential” south of the power line;Follow-up with IQ to keep the remaining land north of the power line, hand-delivery of letter and the recent CBD publication “Global Biodiversity Outlook”; An interesting fact that is obviously not stated in the reply: it costed the SGF initially only 5,500,000 $ to acquire the entire tract of land (95 ha), whereas the resale of only a portion (ca. 2/3) brought in 17,000,000 $ nine years later;
January 2012: To counteract the power of money in the name of an extractive, abusive and unsustainable economy that is based on the outdated principles of past centuries, we organized a conference with Me Jean-François Girard of the Centre québecois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE), on January 18th; here is a summary of that conference, in which a large number of mayors and councillors of the Greater Montreal municipalities participated.
March 2012: Grilli sells part of the land north of the power line to MDDEP for 3 mio dollars; Public consultations on the "Plan Métropolitain d'Aménagement et de Développement" PMAD, in the course of which we presented our case; in the same context, it is worth taking note of the intervention of Me Girard of the CQDE;
April 2012: Ceremonial visit of Francis Scarpaleggia, Francis Deroo and Geoffrey Kelley to see the installation of Wood duck nesting boxes in Anse-à-l'Orme, by George Panciuk and his volunteers; Meeting with Minister Pierre Arcand of the MDDEP, at the occasion of Earth Day; in response to a letter which was handed over to him, the Minister later states that he has done enough for the conservation of land in the l'Anse à l'Orme sector. The city of Ste-Anne publishes its new Programme Particulier d'Urb
south of the power line;
May 2012: Public consultation on the revised PPU for Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. Ste-Anne Nord residents mobilize against the PPU because of the perceived negative impacts of the plan on the value of their properties and the increase in traffic;
July 2012: IQ puts out a Public call for tender for the remaining land north of the power line; The Comité documents wetlands in precisely that area; the Green Coalition calls for the closure of Chemin de l’Anse à l’Orme to cars and support extending Boulevard 440, proposed since 38 years.
October 2012: On October 4th the last remaining land north of the Power line is sold for 9,150,000$ to "Développement immobilier Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue". Investissement Québec thus realised a net gain of 20,650,000$ for the sale of approximately 64 ha of public land.