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SNAP Québec welcomes Bill to reinstate Mont-Orford Park lands

Montreal – SNAP (CPAWS) Québec welcomes the introduction today by the Québec Parliament of a bill, which if passed, will reinstate 459 hectares in Mont Orford National Park that were removed by the province in 2006. Bill 90 not only marks the correction of a historical error, it also recognizes the high value Québecers place on protecting their natural heritage.

A long battle

The outcry against the decision to remove these lands from the park in order to allow residential and commercial development catalyzed the birth of Coalition SOS Parc Orford, which included SNAP as a founding member, and led to a battle to reintegrate the lands that lasted four years. If the bill is passed into law, it will mark the victorious end of this long campaign.

However, a number of steps remain to be taken, notably parliamentary committee hearings. “We’ll continue to be vigilant to ensure that the bill isn’t amended significantly before it is adopted,” says SNAP Québec president John O’Driscoll.

Among the amendments SNAP is concerned about are any that would permit construction of new heavy infrastructure to serve the existing ski centre, especially on the west side of the mountain which remains in a natural state.  “This side has always been kept in its natural state. We can’t let this law be finalized if it authorizes development in this area,” says O’Driscoll.

Our parks, our natural heritage

"Our province’s parks - like all protected areas -  exist to shelter sites of great natural value from development. The announcement today not only responds to the public demand, but the need for Québec to preserve its natural heritage. In this International Year of Biodiversity, protected areas represent the gage of a healthy future and healthy ecosystems for future generations, " says O’Driscoll.

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SNAP Québec
SNAP Québec, founded in 2001, is one of 13 regional chapters of CPAWS, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, across the country. SNAP is working to create a network of protected areas across the province focused on protecting the Boreal forest that covers 90% of Québec. SNAP is also committed to ensuring that parks and protected areas that already exist are properly managed.