Port of Montreal planning expansion to Contrecoeur

News source from CTV News

The Port of Montreal wants to build a $750 million expansion in Contrecoeur, and it is promising that it will be able to minimize environmental damage.

A report delivered in January said the expansion could have an effect on two threatened species, the copper redhorse fish and the western chorus frog.

The frog has habitat in the area, and only a few hundred copper redhorse fish live between Valleyfield and Sorel-Tracy.

The Port wants to build a 675 square metre dock, and dredge the harbour 11 metres deeper.

Daniel Dagenais, VP Operations for the Port of Montreal, said steps would be taken to minimize the effect on wildlife.

“We’re talking about a very small surface that will be affected and our mitigation measures are essentially to recrate this particular area farther downstream where actually the habitat for the copper redhorse fish is more prevalent and of a higher quality,” said Dagenais.

In all 8 hectares of forest would be eliminated and an additional half a hectare of vegetation would be removed.

Dagenais said that could be done without severely affecting the animals, but the final decision would have to be made by the federal government.

The Port said construction would create 5,000 short term jobs beginning in 2020, and the port itself would require 1,000 employees.

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante supports expanding the port, pointing out it is a major economic driver in the region and would help the Montreal area capture some shipping that currently moves through deeper ports in the United States.

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