From Les Amis de Meadowbrook:

As a result of the hard work of many organizations and individuals working in concert with Les Amis de Meadowbrook, the City of Montreal now has what it needs to protect this precious green space and create Meadowbrook Park.

Several recent initiatives by Les Amis de Meadowbrook helped move the process forward: a news conference to launch a Master Plan for a Meadowbrook Urban Nature Heritage Park, accessible to all; and a separate press conference to disclose the results of an investigation by the lobbying commissioner of Quebec that revealed illegal lobbying activities by the developer Groupe Pacific over a number of years.

With the iron now hot, we must continue to build public support for the park and ensure that our elected representatives continue to support the idea.

The first step will be to enforce the 300-meter safety setback for residences from the surrounding marshalling yards, as mandated by both the Railway Association of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. In this regard, Montreal City Council has just adopted a resolution mandating the city’s Executive Committee, in collaboration with the Borough of Lachine, to undertake a study of all proposals for sustainable development of Meadowbrook, with particular reference to the safety setbacks and to the formal opposition to development expressed by both CP Rail and the AMT. We are in full support of this resolution, and would particularly like to thank Vision Montréal, Projet Montréal and the whole Municipal Council for taking this important step.

With Meadowbrook unable to be developed for safety reasons, the portion of Meadowbrook that is in the Borough of Lachine should be rezoned to recreational from residential. Côte Saint-Luc rezoned its portion to recreational in 2000.

The final step is the creation of Meadowbrook Park. The recently unveiled Master Plan was prepared for Les Amis de Meadowbrook by landscape architecture firm Catalyse Urbaine, in collaboration with the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal (CRE-Montréal). The plan proposes converting the 57-hectare space into an Urban Nature Heritage Park, accessible to all Montrealers. New pedestrian and cycling paths would integrate Meadowbrook with existing recreational networks and make the park easily accessible to the densely populated areas of St. Pierre and Lachine.

In taking delivery of the Master Plan on behalf of the city, Josée Duplessis, the executive committee member in charge of sustainable development, undertook to have the city administration study the plan. She also applauded the initiative, saying, “We have a new generation of ecologists who, instead of just demanding projects from public officials, present real, concrete projects that can be worked on.”

The Master Plan was paid for by the fundraising efforts of Les Amis de Meadowbrook last year. It incorporates the views of a variety of community members who last fall attended a one-day design charette, or workshop, to discuss the potential uses for and design of Meadowbrook Park.

The issue of illegal lobbying follows a 2010 complaint to the Quebec lobbying commissioner, lodged by Les Amis member Campbell Stuart, acting as a private citizen. The commissioner’s three-year investigation found that Suzanne Deschamps, vice-president of development and legal affairs at Groupe Pacific, lobbied municipal and Hydro Quebec employees on at least 13 occasions between 2008 and 2010 without being registered as a lobbyist, as required by Quebec law. Stuart turned the commissioner’s findings over to Les Amis, which made them public.

Meadowbrook “Comedy for a Cause” Fundraiser July 23rd

Once again we’re packing the Comedy Nest to support Les Amis de Meadowbrook in our goal to create a park for southwest Montreal. Join us for an evening of fun and exercise for your stomach muscles at the Comedy Nest Just For Laughs: As Seen on TV! lineup on July 23rd. Approximately eight top comedians will be warming up at the downtown club before their gala sets. Be there to help them and help Meadowbrook! The money raised will help fund our current projects: a multi-platform map highlighting endangered green spaces across Montreal, and a showcase of the Université de Montréal landscape architecture students’ visions for Meadowbrook Park.

For tickets, contact Barbara Tekker at Tickets are $35.

The Comedy Nest is located on the third floor of the AMC/Pepsi Forum at 2313 Ste. Catherine at Atwater.