With federal elections on the horizon, some citizens fervently hope that Canada’s national defense territory will be ceded to a competent organization such as the Société des Institutions de plein air du Québec (Sépaq) so that people can use it. This is an important file that has been going on for years.
Recently, a “Mont San Bruno Shooting Range Nature Project” Facebook page has been set up and its managers want to eventually change things up. Among them, we find several Julievillois, namely Marie-Claude Sir, Sebastien Savard, Raphael Maranda and Nicolas Lessard. “We want to make people dream, because it is a very beautiful natural space and we also want to make an exciting impact with decision makers, elected officials, etc.”, explains the latter.
The national defense land is very large and covers 410 acres which is approximately 4.5 square kilometers. It is adjacent to the Monte San Bruno park at its northeastern end, and if it were included in this very crowded green space, it would increase its current area (8.9 km²) by about 50%, without expropriating any inhabitant.
These citizens even cherish the project to build a 4-kilometer track there in order to connect the bike networks already in place in Sainte-Julie and Saint-Basile-le-Grand. Its path will follow the preserved right of way approximately 20 meters wide of an underground pipeline that crosses the ground in a wooded area.
Quebec petition and interest
Remember that in 2017, the National Defense decided to sell this former firing range, because the military exercises were moved to the Farnham location in the Eastern District. However, since this intent was announced, the file has continued.
The Department of Defense has since conducted formal consultations with all interested groups, and in accordance with Treasury Board policy, the land was to be offered to First Nations groups first, before being offered in order to other federal, and regional, administrations. Then to the municipalities.
It appears that the Quebec Department of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, which is responsible for protected areas, would have confirmed that it had “expressed an interest in the Department of National Defense to become the owner of [l’endroit] According to an article published in the Montreal newspaper on August 1.
It was stated in the transcript that National Defense spokeswoman Jessica Lamirandi stated that discussions were ongoing with several stakeholders, but without giving further details, adding on the other hand that the sale “for the purpose of commercial use or real estate development” is being excluded.
Montarville member Stephane Bergeron is one of those who is particularly frustrated that things are going so slowly.
On October 20, 2020, a representative of the Quebec Caucus in the House of Commons submitted a petition signed by 1,745 citizens asking the Secretary of Defense to move quickly so that the site is transferred to an organization like Sépaq, and reports to Quebec, a competent provincial or municipal body, to be protected from development real estate and to be re-accessed to citizens for recreational use while respecting the spaces designated to conserve protected species, including the western cricket tree frog.
Mr. Bergeron particularly noted that the land had not been used for some time and that it was now enclosed and guarded, thus condemning all recreational activities that had taken place there before. “However, the site contains trails for mountain biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing that were developed and maintained in the past by volunteers, respecting protected areas for the conservation of rare and endangered species, and also includes football fields, giving it The urban area has enormous recreational and tourism potential,” he argued, but since then, there is nothing concrete in this profile that a large part of the population nevertheless hopes.
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