Montreal receives $75M from provincial government to rehabilitate contaminated land

The provincial government has given Montreal $75 million over a four year period to help the city revitalize contaminated land. As Global's Billy Shields reports, the city is hoping to add more schools and 12,000 public housing units on reclaimed sites.

The Quebec government announced a $75-million grant over four years, to help Montreal rehabilitate contaminated soils on its territory.

Environment Minister Isabelle Melançon made the announcement in Verdun on Sunday.

Melançon said the investment makes sense not only from an environmental standpoint but is necessary for continued economic growth as well.

“We will protect our health, improve our quality of life, all the while promoting economic growth and the fight against global warming,” she said.

Melançon pointed out that abandoned properties with contaminated soils are among the last large tracts of land still available for development in the city.

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Sunday’s announcement takes into account Montreal’s status as a Metropolis.

In terms of rehabilitating contaminated land, the city will be able to determine its own priorities in order to meet the specific needs of its population.

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Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante welcomed the announcement, saying it will allow the  city to accelerate plans for more social housing and reclaiming tracts of industrial land.

Plante also mentioned the grant could be used by the private sector to help diminish the cost of decontaminating soil not located on municipal land.

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Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux, who is also the MNA responsible for the region of Montreal, said rehabilitating contaminated soils will make it easier to go ahead with urban revitalization projects, including the creation of green spaces.

Despite having free rein on where to spend the money, Melançon made it clear Montreal would be held to the same standards as other municipalities, in terms of accountability and reporting on progress made.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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