Anti-sewage dump petition handed over to Denis Coderre
Montreal Mayor ‘salutes’ 90,000 people who signed petition against plan to dump wastewater directly into river
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre accepted a copy of a petition with 90,000 signatures on it, demanding that the city flush its plan to dump eight billion litres of wastewater into the St. Lawrence River.
Coderre shook hands with citizen Xavier Nonnenmacher, who presented the petition this evening during Ville-Marie's borough council meeting in downtown Montreal.
Several times during the meeting, Coderre acknowledged Nonnenmacher's initiative.
Coderre took several questions from Nonnenmacher and insisted that the plan is a "necessary evil."
"Are we pleased with it? No, we're not," Coderre said, adding that city officials consulted with several experts and were advised this was the only option.
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"What we are putting together, that's the only option that we have. You have the experts and the scientific academics experts who are saying 'You have no choice. That's the only option.'"
The controversy comes after the City of Montreal announced last month that it plans to dump eight billion litres of sewage straight into the Saint Lawrence River from Oct. 18 to Oct. 25.
A major sewer interceptor must be drained to allow necessary construction work to be completed near the Bonaventure Expressway, a raised highway that runs along the downtown shoreline which is being torn down.
Last week, Environment Canada stepped in, saying it wanted to analyze the file more closely.
Ministry officials met with the City last Friday.
Coderre said Environment Canada is expected to take a position on the plan on Wednesday.