Green and Blue Belt
$20 M for the creation of a biKE and pedestrian path in THE greater montréal AREA
Québec City, June 28, 2012 – The Québec government is investing 20 million dollars in the development of a bike and pedestrian path in the Greater Montréal area. The path will help achieve several objectives outlined in the Metropolitan Land Use and Development Plan (PMAD) of the Montréal Metropolitan Community (CMM) in effect since March 12, 2012. The initiatives include the enhancement of landscapes and the natural and built environments in a comprehensive integrated manner for recreation and tourism purposes. This major investment was announced today by the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Pierre Arcand, the Minister of Finance, Minister of Revenue and Minister Responsible for the Greater Montréal Region, Raymond Bachand, and the Minister for Finance and Minister Responsible for the Laval, Laurentides and Lanaudière Regions, Alain Paquet, who also spoke on behalf of their colleague, Laurent Lessard, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy.
As part of the 2012-2013 budget, the government announced a 50 million dollars allotment for the creation of a green and blue belt on the CMM’s territory. The path will be one of the belt’s major components.
“The Québec government’s investment will make it possible to carry out a project that CMM authorities strongly desire. At the same time, by granting this financial aid, the government also wishes to affirm its intention to support the implementation of PMAD, a significant and mobilizing project that will help improve the quality of life of CMM residents. As a result of this major concerted effort, elected officials, a broad range of stakeholders and citizens gathered around the same table to work together toward a common goal: building an attractive, competitive and sustainable Greater Montréal,” said Minister Bachand.
The path will extend over a distance of more than 120 kilometres, linking the municipality of Oka and the town of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, by way of Laval, Montréal, Longueuil and Belœil. In addition, it will provide a link between the three national parks located in the Greater Montreal area: Oka, Mont-Saint-Bruno and Îles-de-Boucherville National Parks. The path will also be incorporated into the Route Verte, which stretches across Québec from east to west and north to south over a distance of more than 5,000 km.
“This project demonstrates once again that reconciliation of urban growth with environmental protection is possible in a sustainable development perspective. The Greater Montréal area represents only 1% of Québec’s land surface, but it contains the highest concentration of endangered species in Québec. This project, in conjunction with other conservation initiatives, will help protect a total of 17% of that land area. It will benefit not only the metropolitan region, but all of Québec,” said Minister Arcand.
“As you know, our government places the environment at the heart of its priorities. It has been working for a number of years to strike a better balance between development and the enhancement of natural environments. Indeed, today’s announcement is tangible proof of this. I am especially pleased that the residents of the regions for which I am responsible, Laval and the Laurentides, will also be able to benefit from this major project that is taking shape,” stressed Minister Paquet.
This new path will make it possible to better control the urbanization of municipalities, develop natural spaces and improve the living environment of residents. It will also help curb urban sprawl, an increasingly common phenomenon that can have negative impacts on both the environment and health.
“The project announced today reflects our commitment to make Québec a more prosperous and responsible society through local and regional municipalities that are attractive and dynamic. With this investment, our government is fostering optimal land use and contributing significantly to the sustainable development of our municipalities,” noted Minister Lessard.
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