Montreal

New Quebec government rules may make it easier to hold large-scale, noisy events

The current law forces anyone who undertakes activities that lead to emissions or modifications in or to the environment, including noise emissions, to obtain a certificate from the government. But the new rules would no longer require promoters to get that permission.

Couillard government published draft legislation in the official Gazette this summer without any fanfare

New proposed rules would no longer require promoters to get permission before holding events such as fireworks shows, car races or concerts with amplifiers. (Radio-Canada)

As the City of Saint-Lambert continues its fight to contain the noise emanating from Montreal's summer concerts and festivals, new rules proposed by the government may make it easier for those events to take place.

The Couillard government published draft legislation in the official Gazette this summer without any fanfare.

The current law forces anyone who undertakes activities that lead to emissions or modifications in or to the environment, including noise emissions, to obtain a certificate from the government.

But the new rules would no longer require promoters to get permission before holding events such as fireworks shows, car races or concerts with amplifiers.

The new proposed regulations come in the midst of an ongoing court battle between the city of Saint-Lambert against the City of Montreal and concert promotion company Evenko over events at Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Montreal residents made the same kind of complaints with the arrival of this summer's Formula E race — many said noise during the installation of the track kept them up at night.

The City of Montreal, Evenko and Environment Minister Isabelle Mélancon did not return calls to Radio-Canada about the changes.

'Government chose sides,' activist says

Christophe Malaterre, a spokesperson for citizen's group Silence St-Lambert, says the rule change would give Montreal and Evenko the power to do whatever they want.

"The government chose sides. It's leaving citizens to figure things out on their own," he said.

Residents have complained the noise rattles windows, shakes houses and disrupts peaceful summer evenings.

Noise levels of 108 decibels (dB) have been recorded at the concert site and a level of 68 dB was recorded at one residence in Saint-Lambert.

The World Health Organization considers noise above 55 dB to be "disturbing to sleep."

Montreal is contributing $30 million for a new amphitheatre at Parc Jean-Drapeau, and has taken heat over noise complaints about the Grand Prix races which are held on Île Notre-Dame, not far from the park.

With files from Radio-Canada's Thomas Gerbet

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