In Quebec, one community will turn an old sandpit into a new neighborhood & another will revitalize a downtown brownfield

In the province of Quebec, Canada, the Municipality of Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton will do a feasibility study on the greenest and safest way to remediate a contaminated property in the heart of the village. It was recently acquired for a future community redevelopment and downtown revitalization project.

The study will help define the extent of the contaminated site of the former garage and gas station, and establish a remediation plan. This work is aligned with the municipality’s urban development plan, which specifies that contaminated sites should be identified and updated, in particular for properties that are strategically well located and close to services, such as in the center of the village.

Meanwhile, the Municipality of Bolton-Est, will be researching the greenest way to rehabilitate an abandoned sandpit. The goal is to redevelop it into a new residential neighborhood to attract young families and thus help revitalize the community. While crucially important, new residents alone seldom revitalize a community. For that, a strategic renewal process that rebuilds confidence in the future of the place is essential. Such confidence attracts not only residents, but employers and real estate investors as well.

The study will integrate sustainability considerations such as preserving ecological corridors, managing water runoff, the densification of spaces, walkability, and creating mixed-use spaces.

These are two of the four projects funded on October 30, 2020 by more than $261,000 from through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF). The GMF is a $1-billion program funded by the Government of Canada and delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). The funding is for plans and feasibility studies to bring greener solutions to Quebec communities.

We are investing in the green projects we need to grow our economy, save Canadians money, create jobs and achieve our climate goals,” explained Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

The Regional County Municipality (RCM) of Coaticook was also funded to do a feasibility study to determine the most sustainable and efficient ecocentre model for processing and recovering agricultural plastics and other waste that is often overlooked—like the tubing used in maple syrup production. The goal is to meet the needs of the RCM’s 12 rural communities while increasing its waste recovery rate to 70 percent annually.

Residual materials management is an important issue in Quebec and the federal government, in collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, supports our communities in reducing their carbon footprint and operating more efficiently. The studies being carried out in Coaticook, Neuville, Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton and Bolton-Est are an important step in promoting a healthier environment and more sustainable community development,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Member of Parliament for Compton–Stanstead, and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on behalf of Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

Lastly, the Town of Neuville will study the feasibility of renovating the Saint-Francois-de-Sales-de-Neuville church’s parking lot to avoid stormwater runoff into the Saint-Lawrence River. They will investigate how to treat the rainwater to eliminate contaminants, and promote water recovery and reuse. They will also use the study to explore ways to reduce the heat generated by the site through the planting of trees and other vegetation.

Local solutions—scaled up—deliver major national impact, like economic growth and the emission reductions Canada needs to meet its climate change goals. Whether it’s through improved energy efficiency, fewer greenhouse gas emissions or stronger local infrastructure, local governments get the job done efficiently and cost-effectively because they connect solutions to local needs and local realities. Supported by our strong federal-municipal partnership, FCM’s Green Municipal Fund helps municipalities do what they do best: deliver solutions that work,” concluded Garth Frizzell, President of FCM.

Photo of historic schoolhouse in Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton, Quebec is by Cantons-de-l’Est via Wikipedia.

See Green Municipal Fund website.

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