Mayor Coderre talks fossil fuels at public consultations
Published Monday, February 1, 2016 10:53PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 2, 2016 7:16AM EST
Montreal's public consultations on reducing fossil fuel dependency continued Monday night with Mayor Denis Coderre addressing the crowd.
Coderre offered updates on his trip to the Paris Climate Change Conference and where he and the city stand on the Energy East pipeline project.
Coderre travelled to Paris two months ago for the COP 21 conference, carrying with him the words and sentiments Montrealers have about fossil fuels.
After several nights of public consultations, Dominique Olivier, head of Montreal’s public consultation office, offered information to the mayor.
“We were able to give him kind of a summary of the opinions of Montrealers on the subject what they thought were the priorities, what should be negotiated,” she explained.
The mayor told them how those thoughts and feelings had an impact, that he and the other 1000 mayors who met in Paris are convinced they have the population-base, power and responsibility to combat climate change.
Many in the room felt buoyed by the mayor's position.
“We're very pleased with his receptiveness and how he's represented us in Paris,” said Matthew Chapman of Coalition Climat Montreal.
The mayor also told the packed room that citizens had spoken out loudly against the Energy East pipeline, with 92 per cent of 3600 people voting against the project online.
He said that he and the 42 Quebec mayors who voted unanimously against it aren't against all fossil fuels, but worried about possible leaks and felt snubbed by Trans Canada pipeline when it decided not to bother to make its case to them.
“They didn’t provide any answer, they weren’t part of the consultation, they didn’t give us what we wanted,” said Coderre.
Trans Canada has said it now wants a meeting with the mayor in the near future.
Montreal also has a huge say in public transportation and issues such as cycling infrastructure can reduce their emissions and improve their health.
But for some, the mayor’s words are only a position, and they will wait to see if it translates into actions.
“We'd like to see a vision for the future of the city, not simply a plan, not simply rejecting a project but saying here's where we want to be in 25-30 years that's what we want to see,” said Chapman.
Residents have until March 3rd to make their feelings on fossil fuel consumption known, with several events left including pitch nights, hackathons and other opportunities for citizens to get involved.
A final report from the consultations will be delivered in the spring.