The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) welcomed today’s statement by Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, on the Contrecoeur expansion project by the Port of Montreal. The favourable decision, rendered after five years of consultations and analysis by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, makes it possible to take a decisive step towards obtaining permits. This means that the MPA can move forward on the future terminal in light of the terms and conditions adopted by the Minister.
“This favourable decision opens the way to building a new container terminal, a key public utility for the development of Quebec and Canada. Local businesses will be able to make the most of a future infrastructure with great economic benefits, with a minimal impact on human, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems,” said Martin Imbleau, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Port Authority.
The MPA intends to continue its close cooperation with local and regional partners, including the various authorities concerned such as First Nations, in order to maximize the project’s positive benefits.
In this regard, the Minister stated: “I am satisfied that the consultation processes undertaken are consistent with the honour of the Crown and that the concerns and interests of First Nations are appropriately accommodated for the purpose of issuing this Decision Statement.”
To view the Environmental Assessment Decision Statement click here : Contrecoeur Port Terminal Expansion Project – Canada.ca (iaac-aeic.gc.ca)
Located in an industrial zone, the Contrecœur land reserve was acquired over 30 years ago by the Montreal Port Authority and has been the focus of careful collaborative planning to support the development of the supply chain in Quebec and Eastern Canada.
“By 2024, with the support of Canada Infrastructure Bank and private partners, the Port of Montreal intends to develop a new state-of-the-art container terminal to handle 1.15 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs),” the MPA stated. “Advantageously located in the main pool of consumers and importers in Quebec and Eastern Canada, close to major rail and road routes, the Port of Montreal’s Contrecœur expansion will consolidate local strengths to effectively meet future needs. This project will strengthen our world-class logistics hub in the heart of the St. Lawrence Valley.”
As expected, the Minister’s final decision evokes numerous undertakings that must be satisfied on environmental protection, especially local fish and wildlife habitat, and shipping matters.
For instance, construction activities in the aquatic environment must take place outside the growing period of the aquatic grass beds and their use for food by the copper redhorse. Dredging required for construction must use “a dredging method with the least impact to reduce emissions of suspended solids in the water column and reduce potential sediment depositions in the aquatic grassbeds located downstream from the designated Project.”
The Port of Montreal must also implement measures to raise awareness with the operators of ships serving the project of the importance of observing the voluntary ship speed reductions in force between Sorel-Tracy and Contrecoeur. Such vessels must procure the services of at least one tugboat for berthing and casting-off manoeuvres. (photo artist rendering of Contrecoeur terminal)