Montreal

Montreal's raw sewage dump makes international headlines

Media outlets from south of the border and beyond have turned their attention to Montreal's wastewater controversy, prompting Mayor Denis Coderre to tell American reporters "take a look at some cities in the United States."

Mayor Denis Coderre suggests American reporters 'take a look at some cities in the United States'

International eyes have been fixed on Montreal this week as media publications keep a close eye on the week-long sewage dump. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Media outlets from around the world have turned their attention to Montreal's raw sewage controversy, with news crews descending on the city from south of the border.

Mayor Denis Coderre addressed the coverage at a news conference Thursday, suggesting to American reporters it would be "appropriate to take a look at some cities in the United States before talking against Montreal."

Reporters from Plattsburgh, N.Y., and beyond have made the trip to Montreal to coverage the wastewater dump.

'One angry city'

The BBC has also paid plenty of attention to the events unfolding in Montreal, offering up a video report and a trio of articles, including one headlined: "More than 14bn pints of sewage – and one angry city."

The article was one of several published worldwide noting the spilled raw sewage would fill 3,200 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

It also contained a collection of creative tweets, including an image of an air freshener attached to the bottom of a bridge. 

References to the anger hinted at in the headline, however, were hard to find.

The Guardian covered the goings-on with an article entitled "Montreal begins controversial sewage dump into St Lawrence river."

The report elicited reader comments that varied from the disappointed ("I expected better from the Canadians") to the dismissive  ("Discharging billions of litres of sewage into rivers and oceans is common. This is a non-story.").

Mayor Coderre addressed the media today after descending into the sewer interceptor currently under construction. 0:17
The New York Times made note of the dump, pointing out concerns expressed by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, who argued that the St. Lawrence River and American waters it meanders into "should be treated like a single ecosystem, because fish and birds move upstream and downstream as do recreational and fishing boats."

A multitude of other publications republished an Associated Press article detailing the sewage dump, while CNN, The Independent and Paris Match also made note of the events in even-handed stories.

Heated reaction close to Montreal

Reader reaction appeared to be most passionate in places nearest to where the water flows, as noted in the comment section of an article published on New York state's North Country Public Radio site, entitled "Montreal to begin pumping sewage into St. Lawrence."

One reader demonstrated that he was not a fan of the decision to dump waste into the river. 

"I will do my part and not spend ONE CENT in Montreal for a very, very long time," the anonymous reader wrote.

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