November 27, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Bank erosion in Verchères, Varennes and Contrecœur | “It’s not anyone’s responsibility”

Bank erosion in Verchères, Varennes and Contrecœur |  "It's not anyone's responsibility"

Residents of Verchères, Varennes and Contrecoeur are concerned. Over the years, they have seen the St. Lawrence River erode their land with waves. They condemned the inaction of the federal government in halting the maintenance of the erosion protection walls. In the middle of the election campaign, a call for help was launched and authorized for collective action against the government.

Coralie Laplante

Coralie Laplante

Anglican Buccaneer 100 years. She has been living in Vercures‌ since she was born. When she was very young, she recalled that children used to bathe in St. Lawrence water. Then the shores were covered with sand.

Received the centenary Tap On August 21 at his residence in extreme heat. A mixture of stones, gravel and cement protects his land from erosion, exposing the land to the whirlpools of waves.

Photo by Catherine Lefbrey, special combination

Angelique Buchemin

On the adjoining land, nothing was left. All of this was eaten.

Anglican Buchemin, a resident of Vertices

The old woman sits in her green garden with Michaeline Lagarde, chairwoman of the Conservation Committee of St. Lawrence Banks. In January 2019 an initiative was created to ask the federal government to “accept its responsibilities”.

On August 19, Quebec’s Superior Court authorized $ 50 million in class action brought by Verchers, Warrens and Continental citizens against the Canadian government.

Photo by Catherine Lefbrey, special combination

Part of the wall protecting the Anglican Buchemine land collapsed at Vertchers.

Since the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Coastal Protection Program was canceled in 1997, retaining walls built between the 1950s and 1970s have deteriorated, according to local residents. They believe that the waves generated by the transmission of commercial vessels in the channel will erode their land.

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The federal government built the channel in the 1900s. According to Vertchers citizens, it justifies itself by saying that the river bed is Quebec’s responsibility.

Photo by Catherine Lefbrey, special combination

Michelin Lagarde, chair of the Conservation Committee of St. Lawrence Banks

It is very sad that the government is leaving us in this matter.

Michelin Lagarde, chair of the Conservation Committee of St. Lawrence Banks

The Chair of the Shoreline Protection Committee has written to many politicians and launched a petition in 2019 that collected 2,300 names.

A long process

Although Verchères residents are happy with the collective action, they fear the legal process will continue.

⁇ [Une action collective] Rarely settles within five years, and sometimes, extends beyond that ”, confirms ME Olivier Lorende, the lawyer representing the residents in this case.

Some residents have decided to personally sue the government. One phase ended with a federal withdrawal and a friendly settlement.

Photo by Catherine Lefbrey, special combination

Just like Diane sitting on a piece of concrete in a collapsed wall

“If everyone made their own solution, we would do nothing. We could not solve the problem,” said Diane Lalonde, a Vercore resident.

A few kilometers from MTo me Buchemin, the cut grows in the Michael Vaz plain from west to east. In the past, the stones covered the concrete blocks at the bottom of its retaining wall. In the spring of 2021, his wife Franకోois Crete observed that the rocks and boulders were gradually moving away.

The degradation of the wall is not yet critical for Mr. Vass. “There are people like us who can’t wait,” he says.

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One of his neighbors, whose house was in danger of being cut, had to undertake the work himself at a cost of several hundred dollars.

“It’s not anyone’s responsibility,” Diane said.

Photo by Catherine Lefbrey, special combination

Residents believe that the waves caused by the circulation of commercial vessels in the channel will erode their land.

Candidates want to act

Outgoing MP for Pierre-Boucher, Les Patriots-Vertuaries, Javier Barsalou-Duel, has been well aware of residents’ concerns for three years.

The Black Cubacois candidate held a public consultation on the subject in 2018. He first submitted a petition made by residents in Ottawa. With no response, Mr. Barsalou-Duval filed again in 2020.

“According to the answer we received [le fédéral], It’s just the impact of climate change, and he can do nothing yet, “the politician explained.” It’s really frustrating, “he said.

Xavier Barsalou-Duval wants to continue the pressure to resolve this issue. “It simply came to our notice then [vouloir financer] Defense work being carried out, ”he stressed.

“I believe cooperation with all stakeholders is paramount in this file. […] I am committed to bringing this dialogue to an appropriate solution for all, “Liberal candidate Louis-Gabriel Girard replied by email.

New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Martin Leprohan said the Liberal government “seems to be stalling on this issue.”

“At NDP, for our part, we want to develop a pan-Canadian climate crisis strategy to help communities plan and adapt to climate change,” he explained in an interview. Tap.

The Conservative Party did not respond to interview requests from Tap. The Green Party candidate is not competing in this riding.